FSU’s Norvell tests positive, will miss Miami game

FSU football head coach Mike Norvell. Photo courtesy Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

After testing negative twice during the past two weeks, Florida State football head coach Mike Norvell announced Saturday he has tested positive for COVID-19 and he is not expected to be with the team at Miami next Saturday.

In a statement, the first-year head coach said that despite testing positive he fees fine. Norvell also said that his wife and daughter tested negative on Saturday.

“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,” Norvell said.

Deputy head coach Chris Thomsen will serve as interim coach for the Seminoles until Norvell returns.

Thomsen has 24 years of college coaching experience. Before joining the Seminoles, Thomsen was an offensive line coach at TCU.

The Seminoles had 17,500 fans at their season opener against Georgia Tech last Saturday. Many fans were seen without a mask.

Before the season started, some players questioned if the school’s safety protocols were efficient. Receiver  D.J. Matthews tweeted he had the virus, before deleting his tweet. Matthews has recently entered the transfer portal.

FSU has not released any new testing numbers since the players’ return in June.

Norvell is required to quarantine during the next 14 days but he said in the statement that he will remain remotely involved.

“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,” Norvell added.

The Seminoles are scheduled to play against their rivals the Miami Hurricanes, this Saturday. The game will take place at Hard Rock Stadium.

David Coburn, athletic director for the Seminoles, said the team is still following safe protocols. He said he doesn’t believe the Miami game is in jeopardy.

“This is unfortunate, but luckily coach is feeling fine. We are proceeding with our COVID protocols as we would with any other case. Coach is isolated, and university tracing staff is handling the contact tracing as they normally do. We will continue to test staff and student-athletes as we have been,” Coburn said.

Although Norvell is the third NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision head coach to have tested positive for COVID-19, he is the first coach to miss a game due to a positive test.