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AD Stan Wilcox calls Seminoles 'the best program in the country'

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The big money behind Jimbo's move to Texas A&M (0:46)

Jimbo Fisher's high salary is far from the only financial incentive for him to head to College Station. (0:46)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State athletic director Stan Wilcox said Saturday the reason Jimbo Fisher left for Texas A&M is because the Seminoles simply could not compete with the Aggies' finances.

Fisher resigned Friday and did not coach in the Seminoles' 42-10 win over Louisiana Monroe on Saturday. Instead, he will be introduced Monday as Texas A&M's coach after receiving what sources previously told ESPN is a 10-year deal worth a guaranteed $75 million.

Even though Fisher has, at times, complained about the pace at which facilities were being built at Florida State, Wilcox spoke highly of his former coach.

"Jimbo is one of the top coaches in the country. ... I'm worried if I have a coach that's not being pursued every year. So every year, he's being pursued. It finally got to the point where there was a pursuit out there that we couldn't match," Wilcox said.

"We're working on it. We're getting there. The ACC Network is going to be up in '19, so there will be additional resources coming into Florida State, just as all the other ACC schools, so at some point in time we may have the resources Texas A&M has, but it got to a point where a school came calling and they basically allowed Jimbo to make history and we just weren't able to do that here."

Last month, Fisher publicly questioned the Florida State administration's commitment to the football program, and that didn't set well with some. Especially because Florida State has built a new indoor football facility, modernized the coaches offices, locker room and meeting space and done an extensive renovation to Doak Campbell Stadium. Plans are in the works for a standalone football facility.

"I'm sure there are people who thought those comments were unfounded, and I would say what we've done here since I've been here in the past five years, we've done a lot, and our booster organization, they've been able to help us do all those things and they will continue to help us do all those things," Wilcox said.

"I think for Jimbo, he needs to be at a place that has maybe everything already in place, and as he would tell you he would always push every year and that was part of his way of saying we need to continue to grow, so we finally got to a place where we weren't maybe able to keep up with the level or the time frame of growth that he was looking for. I think he was able to get everything he was looking for at Texas A&M. We're very happy for him. We're very happy for Texas A&M. We wish him well, but we're going to be there, too. We are the best program in the country."

Wilcox tabbed longtime Florida State assistant Odell Haggins as interim head coach for the game Saturday. Haggins said Fisher told him, "He came in and let me know something. He said, 'Odell, you are the man for it.' I said, 'Coach, you got it. I appreciate you and I love you.'"

Haggins said players were visibly shaken when Fisher shared the news that he was leaving. "It was tough," Haggins said. "They're human."

"He made a business decision," safety Derwin James said. "He had to do what he had to do. You can't be mad at him. These last three years have been the best three years of my life. He really gave it all to me whatever I needed and he made me into a better man."

As for the immediate future, Wilcox declined to comment on potential candidates. When asked specifically about Oregon coach Willie Taggart, Wilcox said, "I won't answer that. I can't answer that question at this point. I'm not talking about any candidates publicly at this time."

But when it comes to describing the attractiveness of the program to any candidate, Wilcox said, "We are very successful with the resources that we have and we're going to continue to be successful with the resources we have and we're going to build on that when we get additional resources coming in through the network. But in the meantime, we know we're Florida State, we know we are the best program in the country, particularly being able to get into having a shot getting into the College Football Playoff. We just have to find the right person to lead us there, and that's what we're going to do."