Florida State hires Oregon's Willie Taggart as head football coach
Seminoles move quickly to replace Jimbo Fisher
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Willie Taggart is coming home.
Just days after being spurned by Jimbo Fisher, the Florida State Seminoles have hired Taggart away from Oregon to be their next head coach.
Taggart takes over for Fisher, who resigned Friday to take the same job at Texas A&M.
Florida State announced the hire Tuesday and has scheduled a Wednesday morning news conference to introduce Taggart.
Taggart has a 47-50 overall record as a coach, but he is known for turning around underachieving programs.
The Florida native spent last season at Oregon, where he replaced the fired Mark Helfrich. The Ducks were 7-5 in Taggart's lone season in Eugene.
Before taking the reins at Oregon, Taggart spent four seasons at South Florida. The Bulls doubled their win total in each of Taggart's first three years before their stellar 2016 season in which USF won 11 games (Taggart left before the bowl game) and finished ranked in the top 25 for the first time in program history.
USF lost just two games that year, including a 55-35 loss to Florida State.
Taggart got his first head coaching start at Western Kentucky, taking his alma mater from a 2-10 season in 2010 to consecutive seven-win seasons and the school's first bowl berth in 2012.
Taggart, 41, is just the third full-time coach since 1976. To put it into perspective, Taggart was born the same year that Bobby Bowden began the first of what would be 34 years at FSU.
His hiring could help the Seminoles ahead of the early signing period. Taggart could bring with him offensive coordinator Mario Cristobal and defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, both of whom have ties to the state.
Cristobal was head coach at Florida International from 2007-12, while Leavitt was head coach at USF from 1997-2009.
FSU wasted little time during its first head coaching search in 41 years. Bowden and Fisher, who spent three seasons as Bowden's offensive coordinator before taking over in 2010, combined to win 398 games (on the field), 15 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and three national titles.
Taggart has the unique distinction of being the first black coach at each of his coaching stops.
Copyright 2017 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.