Former Vernon Lion standout Chris Thomsen has taken over as the Florida State head football coach on an interim basis, after Seminoles’ head coach Mike Norvell tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday.
“In our most recent round of COVID testing yesterday (Friday), I received a positive result after being negative in our previous two tests this week,” Norvell said in a statement released by the school Saturday. “My wife and daughter were tested this morning with negative results but are quarantining. My result was surprising to me, but we have prepared for a potential positive result among anyone in our program and we will put that plan in place while I am away.
“I will remain involved remotely as much as possible to help our team continue to prepare. Deputy head coach Chris Thomsen will handle in-person head coaching duties until I am able to return. I’m grateful to the administration, players and staff for their commitment to the protocols we have in place, which have helped us limit contact with others and allowed us to continue moving forward.”
As a result, Thomsen will coach the Seminoles in next Saturday’s game at Miami. Florida State (0-1) had a bye this Saturday, after a 16-13 loss to Georgia Tech on Sept. 12 in Tallahassee, Florida.
Thomsen was Abilene Christian University head coach from 2005-11, compiling a 61-21 record in that time, and built one of the best Division II programs in the nation while there. The Wildcats won two Lone Star Conference titles and reached the playoffs in Thomsen’s last six seasons with the team. ACU went 11-1 twice (2008 and 2010).
He left ACU to become an assistant coach at Texas Tech. He led the Red Raiders to a 34-31 win over Minnesota as the team’s interim coach at the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas in Houston, after Tommy Tuberville had taken the job at Cincinnati.
Thomsen was an assistant at Arizona State (2013-16), before joining the TCU staff in 2017. He took the Florida State job during the offseason.