TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said he read books written by former NBA coach Phil Jackson in an attempt to discover the secrets of winning multiple championships.
Jackson led teams to three consecutive titles on three occasions. Fisher is just focused on capturing back-to-back championships.
The fifth-year coach routinely lists Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird as inspirations, but also mentioned Miami Heat president Pat Riley, former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll and former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson on Monday.
“The key to all of them was how they related and got the message over to their players to make sure that they stayed hungry,” Fisher said. “One of the keys to all those things was that it was serious, it was work, but at the end of the day they still enjoyed playing the game.
“We can get so caught up in not trying to lose instead of winning and playing good football. ... What I don’t want us to do is create a culture where we’re worried about losing.”
Florida State, the defending BCS champions, held its first preseason practice Monday afternoon. The Seminoles ended a string of seven consecutive titles won by SEC teams last year.
While the Seminoles have had some offseason issues – Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston was cited for shoplifting and receiver Jesus Wilson is suspended indefinitely for the theft of a motor scooter – they have enough talent to make another run. The Seminoles return 15 players who started in the championship game.
Winston served a three-game suspension during baseball season and Fisher has planned to speak to Wilson Monday to discuss his status. Wilson is practicing with the team after he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors stemming from the theft last week. He was originally charged with a felony.
Fisher has refused to refer to his team as the defending champions – a habit he began immediately after winning the title in January. He wants the focus on the future and what it will take to reach the top again.
“Once you’re up on that podium, do you really want to walk off?” Fisher said. “How important is it to stay on that podium? We talk about that.
“We’ll throw those flashes up there to remind them of, you’re either going to walk off that podium or you’re going to stay on that podium.”