After speculation swirled over the past couple of years, Texas A&M fired head football coach Jimbo Fisher on Sunday after nearly six seasons in College Station.
The move had curious timing after the Aggies beat Mississippi State 51-10 on Saturday, but ESPN reports the head coach’s future with the school had already been determined through a board of regents meeting earlier in the week.
“After very careful analysis of the components related to Texas A&M football, I recommended to President Welsh and then to Chancellor Sharp that a change in the leadership of the program was necessary in order for Aggie football to reach our full potential, and they accepted my decision,” a statement from Athletic Director Ross Bjork read on the athletic department’s website. “We appreciate Coach Fisher’s time here at Texas A&M, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Fisher had been with the team since 2018 after spending the previous eight years at Florida State and leading the Seminoles to a national championship. He had not enjoyed the same level of success with the Aggies as the results on the field did not match the hype and expectations.
Under his watch, Texas A&M welcomed five top-10 recruiting class, according to 247 Sports, yet never won more than nine games in a single season. Their best year was a 9-1 2020 season, finishing just short of the College Football Playoff during a year altered by the COVID pandemic lockdowns.
Fisher led the Aggies to a disappointing 5-7 record in 2022, failing to qualify for a bowl game and resulting in the departure of 33 players from the program.
Many believed Fisher’s contract buyout had been too expensive to let him go, but the risk began to outweigh the reward, and A&M decided to move on because it was “stuck in neutral.” Consequently, Fisher receives a record-breaking buyout that includes $19.2 million within the next 60 days.
He was one of three coaches fired after Saturday’s games, along with Boise State’s Andy Avalos and Mississippi State’s Zach Arnett. The trio were the first coaches fired for on-field performance this season, while Michigan State’s Mel Tucker and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald were fired for cause for off-the-field incidents.
The school appointed Assistant Head Coach, Run Game Coordinator, and Defensive Line Coach Elijah Robinson as the interim head coach for the final two games of the regular season and possibly a subsequent bowl game. He has been an assistant at the FBS level since 2006 after a four-year playing career at Penn State.
“I think the leadership of our team is going to keep this thing going the right way,” Robinson told the media during a press conference on Monday. “…As a staff, we’re going to come together and make sure we make the adjustments that need to happen for those guys to enjoy these next few weeks and play as well as possible.”
Robinson also added that he does not intend to leave Texas A&M after the season and would be willing to help on the next head coach’s staff. Many candidates have already been rumored to fill the opening, which should be among the top vacancies in the country, considering the job is in a premier conference.
A&M players have a 30-day window to enter the transfer portal because of the coaching change, and wide receiver Raymond Cottrell has already announced he will enter the portal via X, formerly known as Twitter.
The Aggies (6-4,4-3 in the SEC) host Abilene Christian (5-5, 3-3 in the United Athletic Conference) at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday before finishing the regular season on the road against No.19 LSU (7-3, 5-2 in the SEC) on November 25.