Texas A&M is firing coach Jimbo Fisher.
School officials are expected to inform the coach Sunday morning of his dismissal, sources with knowledge of the decision tell Yahoo Sports.
High-level university officials met earlier this week and were expected to meet again Sunday as they considered a dismissal of Fisher. The set of meetings pointed toward the imminent decision on Fisher, who has eight years remaining on a contract with a buyout expected to be more than $75 million.
The Texas A&M University Board of Regents met in a more than four-hour executive session on Thursday, a large portion of which they used to discuss the future of the coach.
Fisher’s termination is expected to be immediate, sources say. He will not coach the remainder of the season. Texas A&M co-defensive coordinator and D-line coach Elijah Robinson will serve as the Aggies’ interim coach.
Intense pressure had been rising in College Station over the situation with the football program under Fisher’s leadership. The Aggies beat Mississippi State on Saturday night 51-10 to move to 6-4, but that did nothing to quell a restless fan base and frustrated donors, as well as administrators.
TexAgs.com, a local College Station outlet with deep ties to Texas A&M, first reported Sunday that the school planned to fire the coach.
Fisher was 45-25 at the school. Since the Aggies finished 9-1 during the COVID season in 2020, they have gone 19-15. A&M has lost 10 of its last 15 games against Power Five opponents.
The school was paying Fisher roughly $9 million a year in salary as part of a 10-year contract that was extended before the 2021 football season. The contract is believed to be fully guaranteed and was, at the time, worth about $95 million.
The buyout figure to fire Fisher is believed to be the largest single buyout paid to a football coach and will eclipse the entire amount spent that 15 schools paid to fire coaches last year, which hovered around $72 million.
It’s been a whirlwind last 12 hours in College Station.
After the win over Mississippi State on Saturday night, Fisher left, as he often does, for his ranch in a hurried move that raised questions with multiple staff members. On Sunday morning, the program had multiple breakfast meetings scheduled with recruits and their families.
A team meeting is expected to be scheduled for later Sunday to inform players and staff of the decision.
The move to fire Fisher goes well beyond the more than $75 million owed to him in buyout money. The Aggies are expected to focus their coaching search on some of the highest-paid sitting Power Five coaches in the country, many of them with buyouts of their own. A contract for a new head coach could cost in excess of $80 million. Combined with assistant buyouts and new staff hires, the price tag for the move could exceed $150 million.
However, the university is one of the richest and most well-resourced in the country, often annually leading the nation in donations. Last year, the school reported $54 million in giving.
Rife with mega boosters and aggressive spenders, the school was at the forefront of changes to name, image and likeness rules allowing third parties to compensate athletes. In fact, Texas A&M signed the country’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class the year that the NCAA legalized NIL payments to players.
The Aggies’ recruiting fell under criticism from other SEC coaches like Alabama’s Nick Saban and Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin, who publicly accused the program of using NIL payments to entice high school and transferring players — a clear violation of NCAA policy.