Charles Kelly will serve as Florida State's defensive coordinator next season.
After Jeremy Pruitt surprised Jimbo Fisher and FSU by accepting Georgia's defensive coordinator position, Florida State stayed relatively quiet in regard to their defensive coordinator search. Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins was rumored to be under consideration but he was quickly given a raise and a contract extension that took him off the market.
Ultimately the Seminoles decided to promote Kelly from linebackers coach to coordinator rather than make an outside hire.
Kelly has coordinator experience at three other schools -- most recently at Georgia Tech where he assumed the role midseason and turned the unit around -- and is well versed in the nuanced defensive system that Jeremy Pruitt installed last season (and Nick Saban has made famous).
Pruitt's departure seems to have rubbed many in Tallahassee the wrong way. In addition to the lascivious rumors that have circulated following the news he had accepted the Georiga job, news has emerged that Jimbo Fisher was not happy with the decision and the Pruitt hadn't even met with his players before leaving.
One thing that can be said for the program that Fisher runs is that intentions are typically out in the open and communication is usually very good. It's common to hear Fisher's players say something along the lines of "it's a business" when discussing position changes, turning pro or anything that has long-term ramifications.
Fisher and his coaches make it a point to be realistic with players, to be honest with players -- and it pays off.
Part of that is players understand that much like they have ambitions and goals, the coaches do too.
When Mark Stoops left players talked about how happy they were for him and you could tell they meant it. Same with Eddie Gran. Same with DJ Eliot. The reason was simple, those coaches had always been honest about their intentions to move up in the coaching world. Lamarcus Joyner probably summed it up best last year when he said that this team struggles together so they can all reach their own goals.
That's why this fly-by-night departure that saw Pruitt leave Tallahassee without meeting with any of his players doesn't seem to have engendered much good will from the Seminoles.
By promoting Kelly Florida State has more or less closed ranks. They'll maintain more continuity next year with Kelly running the defense and a new guy coaching the linebackers than they would have with an outside hire.
It's also going to come a lot cheaper.
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