Memphis fans react to Norvell leaving

Memphis fans react to Norvell leaving

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - For Chris Spratlin and other Memphis Tigers football fans, the weekend was a rollercoaster of emotions.

"A lot of checking Facebook and a lot of checking rumors and stuff just to see when and where you know, when it was going to happen," said Spratlin.

Hours after winning the American Athletic Conference title, multiple reports surfaced online, appearing to confirm a rumor that head football coach Mike Norvell was moving on.

But it didn't become official until Sunday morning, when Memphis athletic director Laird Veatch announced that Norvell had accepted the head coaching job at Florida State.

WMC Action News 5 caught up with Memphis football fans lined up at the Tiger Bookstore, where AAC Championship shirts went on sale Sunday.

"Personally, sad that he's leaving, but professionally, I'm glad that he's taking that next step to better his career out," said Tigers fan Del Gill.

Fans told us they weren't surprised by Norvell's decision.

"You knew it was going to happen. I mean he left for a big-time job," said Spratlin. "To see what he has left this program and what he's meant to this program, you hate to see him go, but you completely understand."

"We know that we probably don't have that opportunity to compete for a national championship, so it would be natural that a coach as young as him would certainly want that opportunity, so I could understand that too," said Rob Shields.

And it's that type of understanding they say that sets Memphis apart from other places.

“I think that’s part of who we are in Memphis,” said Shields. “We’re a kind-hearted city, very giving and we appreciate people come in and give of themselves and he’s done that.”

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