Ronnie Cottrell has been called the architect of Florida State's long run of top five finishes. Starting as a graduate assistant coaching receivers in 1989, Cottrell impressed Coach Bowden with his recruiting skills so much that a year later he was the team's full-time recruiting coordinator. His ability to find, evaluate and sign blue chip talent made him a hot commodity in college football.
In 1998, an Alabama program that had slipped from its dynasty days under Bear Bryant, lured Cottrell to Tuscaloosa. A few years later he was implicated in a recruiting scandal with a top player in Memphis (you can Google many versions of the story; there's even a book about it). Though his involvement was never proven, Cottrell lost his job, and later won a major defamation suit against an accuser. During the past decade, Cottrell has stuck to high school football, most recently at Tallahassee Godby, where he won a state title in 2012. Next stop, a return to Alabama where he'll coach at a new high school in the Mobile area.
Here's Cottrell talking about his glory days at FSU and how he persuaded game changers like Warrick Dunn, Derrick Brooks and Kez McKorvey to become Noles. He's interviewed by Bob Ferrante for Garnet and Great.