On Wednesday, our friends and partners at 36 Degrees were able to speak on air with Florida State head coach Mike Norvell. Danielle Kelly and James Coleman sat down and discussed the new era in Tallahassee. Below we have the transcription of the show. Get a taste of what is going on.
On Bobby Bowden
James: You talked about not asking for trust but basically showing it by being an example and guys trusting that and buying into it because ‘follow me as I follow’ and try to achieve the standard. There’s a guy that we all know that contributed to this program who is the standard. NCAA needs to go ahead and give us back those few wins that he got in negated, so he can be in his proper place. I saw you got a chance to meet Coach (Bobby) Bowden.
What was meeting Coach Bowden like? And what is the thought kind of following that guy even though you had a couple of people before him in front of you that came right behind him? What is it like for you? That legacy? And talk to me a little about what you know and understand about the history of Florida State.
Coach Norvell: Well you know, I mean Coach Bowden is the greatest coach that has done this job; and if you look at sustaining success, there is nobody that did it as good as Florida State. Ah, I think there’s 14 straight years of top-4 finishes and having the opportunity to sit down and visit with him was truly…..You talk about a dream come true? You know I grew up in Dallas and the very first thing I ever owned from any college was a 1993 national championship license plate.
It was the only thing I had on my wall — probably because it was the only thing I could afford at the time. But it was something that…I always watched this program and like many of you just had the same respect for not only the great players that were on those teams but really how they played in Coach Bowden. He fully believed in developing every aspect of a young man; and being able to sit down, and talk with him was just, you know?
It was definitely one of the greatest highlights that I’ve ever had in my life; and just being able to hear the passion in his voice for this program and every day that I come to my office, I look out every day at (Doak) Campbell Stadium and Bobby Bowden Field, so to have this role, to have this responsibility, it’s one that I don’t take lightly. I’m humbled and honored to be given this task to get Florida State football back to where it needs to be. And there’s a lot of work that’s going to go into that but, you know?
It was truly an honor to be able to meet Coach Bowden; and you know I tell people the best thing of that experience is when we were done talking individually; I took him in to introduce him to our staff. I was actually followed in the room behind Coach Bowden. Probably the greatest statement that I could have ever gotten from who he is as a man and what he means to people is seeing the faces of Odell Hagans and Ron Dugans when he walked into the room; that was a special moment when they saw their coach walk in, and just what he meant to them; that’s what I aspire to do and that’s what I aspire to be each and every day, but it’s great to be able to represent him in this role.
James: I got to ask you something, Coach. It’s not bothering me. Are you this intense all the time? Like, is this you 24/7? Like, is there a “uhhhh man whew”, but it’s cool if it is. I’m just like “man when I saw you in Jacksonville I was like ‘man, I feel like I’m ready to go. I got three plays in me’, and now you talking to me again and you almost got me dumb enough to want to wake up to do the tour of duty, but I know I’ll get one of them orange jerseys.
Coach Norvell: You might end up in one of those jerseys if you don’t come correct. So no, I am passionate to do what I get to do every day. It’s truly a blessing like I tell our guys. Maximize the day. Today is the only thing we have guaranteed in this world. So go out there and be the best version of yourself. And if you can, attack every day like that then you have a chance to deal with the potential that we have. I am definitely blessed with the opportunity; and I’m not going to waste one day.
Winning Over the Greats
Danielle: You know, Coach, I grew up on the sidelines. My dad worked (Florida Highway Patrol) on the field as one of Coach Bowden’s escorts. So I grew up on the sidelines and the former players meant everything to me. Dexter Carter, Snoop Minnis, Peter Warrick. All of them all the way down the line, there’s too many to name. One thing you have really done when you came in here is to embrace the former players. They are so fired up and excited. I saw (Dedrick) “Blade” Dodge post something yesterday. (It was) like ‘Coach got me ready to put some cleats on’. How important is it to you that they are still a part of the program and interacting with our current players?
Coach Norvell: I think it’s critical. I mean, you know once a Nole, always a Nole. That’s something that’s important to me is the relationship of our players that have come before us being involved in the program, supporting the program, being able to speak victory over the program. But on the flip side of it, just also being able to show these young men that I currently get to coach what it is to be a Seminole and not only what the experience is when you’re a player, but whenever you get done and what these relationships, what this time, and that opportunity meant to them, and how it’s kind of really set them up for the path for the rest of their lives.
So I think anytime you can connect the past to the present and set them up for the future because you know these guys are living the greatest days of their life here in college, and being able to do that at this institution, on this team. I just want them to always realize what they represent to show the appreciation for the guys who have come before us.