MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com)- It is a tough one.
“I’m a huge fan, Tiger Fan. No, he can’t leave. It’s going to be an uproar,” said Hannah Butcher, a Tiger fan.
But, Tiger fans have to face the funk. Memphis Tiger football’s head coach, Mike Norvell, is headed to Florida State university.
“Florida will be just fine, but we need him right now,” said Butcher.
She isn’t alone in having trouble saying goodbye.This is the man who led the Tigers to the highest winning percentage of any head coach.
He’s the only one to lead them to the Cotton Bowl.
“It’s pretty disappointing, but he’s really brought the program back,” said Tim Ross, another fan.
“It’s the saddest thing I think I’ve ever heard in my entire span of being a University of Memphis student and a fan,” said Janae Irving, a fan.
However, some had an idea the change was coming.
“It’s not the first time that Memphis has had a good season and then the coach leaves. I feel like they’re not paying them enough,” said Spencer Moore, a Tiger fan.
Memphis native, Baron Carval, came all the way from Los Angeles to see the Tigers win the AAC Championship.
“I think it’s always tough to see coaches that you love go, but I think we were very blessed to have him,” said Carval.
Some fans are coming to grips with the change and wishing Norvell the best.
“It’s always good to see a guy like him go to his dream school and move on up,” said Melvin Purdy, a fan.
“He had a saying all the time about keep climbing. Keep pushing up. I want him to keep climbing. In Memphis, we’re going to keep climbing,” said Jim Strickland, City of Memphis Mayor.
While the Tigers continue to climb, fans say there is a bright side to Norvell going to Florida.
“At least it’s not Ole Miss,” said Irving.
University of Memphis Athletics said they were aware of Norvell going to Florida.They said he made sure to be open and honest with the department.