Florida State is losing its sixth assistant football coach this offseason.
And this time, the departing coach is headed for rival Miami.
Offensive coordinator James Coley, a Miami native, is returning to his hometown to take the same position with the Hurricanes. Coley helped shape Florida State’s offensive game plan the past three seasons, but coach Jimbo Fisher called the plays.
Coley will be calling the plays and also coaching quarterbacks in Miami for coach Al Golden.
“We’re excited about adding James Coley’s leadership, expertise and passion to our staff,” Golden said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.
Coley, who turns 40 in April, has been on Florida State’s staff since 2008. He initially held responsibilities as tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator but his job evolved through the years. In 2013, he was set to take over as quarterbacks coach and drop his responsibilities with the tight ends.
His move could create plenty of fireworks in the final two weeks before National Signing Day on Feb. 6. Coley was one of Florida State’s top recruiters, with emphasis on the talent-rich South Florida area. Now Coley will be recruiting many of those same high school seniors while working for Miami.
Coley was a key part of a Florida State coaching staff that landed No. 1 signing class in 2011, according to Scout.com while Florida State’s 2012 class was ranked No. 11 by Scout.com.
Golden noted Coley’s “relentless approach to recruiting Dade and Broward counties.”
A graduate of Florida State, Coley began his coaching career as an assistant at Miami Senior High (1997-99) and then Miami Norland (2000-02). Along the way he met Fisher, and Coley was later a graduate assistant at LSU under Nick Saban (where Fisher was also offensive coordinator). Coley then followed Saban to the Miami Dolphins, where he was a quality control coach for two years.
Coley is something of a wild card as a play caller. He called them at Norland High and then for a year as Florida International’s offensive coordinator in 2007. But Fisher has often received the credit (and blame) for the performance of Florida State’s offense.
The Seminoles ranked 10th in the Football Bowl Subdivision in scoring (39.29 points per game) and 19th in total offense (471.5 yards per game) in 2012.
Florida State finished 12-2 in 2012, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the first time since 2005.
Fisher has had a busy offseason, replacing five assistant coaches. He has hired Jeremy Pruitt as defensive coordinator, Charles Kelly as linebackers coach/special teams coordinator, Sal Sunseri as defensive ends coach, Billy Napier as tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator and Randy Sanders as running backs coach.