From Arizona to Tennessee


Mary Elizabeth Hagan, Staff Writer

The Memphis Tigers coach of four years, Justin Fuente resigned last weekend to coach at Virginia Tech. The long-time coach at Virginia Tech, Frank Beamer, retired after this season ended. But, the search is over for the Tigers. As of December 3, Mike Norvell was named the new head coach.

Norvell has an accomplished career as an offensive coordinator at Arizona State. They have had spectacular seasons in the past, but this year they were lackluster with a 6-6 season. That didn’t stop Arizona State’s head coach, Todd Graham, from praising the 34 year old coach. “Mike is the best assistant football coach I’ve ever had,” Graham said. “He’s the total package when it comes to understanding offense, defense and then recruiting. He’s just off the charts.” For Graham to say this is outstanding considering that his previous assistant coaches have included the likes of Gus Malzahn (Auburn head coach) and Chad Morris (SMU head coach).

Mike Norvell is one of the youngest football coaches in the NCAA at only 34. But, he has held one of the highest offensive coordinator salaries in the country at a whopping $900,000.  He is considered on of the sharpest offensive minds on the country because he has run Arizona’s high-power spread offense for the past four years. In his first four years, Norvell’s offense has scored and average of 38.4 points per game. This scoring record has put them in the top ten national rankings in years past. Memphis fans are excited for this coach and believe he will lead them to victory.