'I hate it for the program,' Jimbo Fisher says of Willie Taggart firing

Former Florida State coach speaks fondly of time in Tallahassee

Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher yells to his offense between plays during the fourth quarter against UTSA, Nov. 2, 2019, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Jimbo Fisher said Wednesday he still has "a great fondness and love for Florida State," so it was disheartening to learn that his successor was fired after just 21 games.

The Texas A&M head coach addressed the dismissal of Willie Taggart while speaking with reporters during a Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference.

"I hate it for the program, himself, the kids and everybody involved," Fisher said. "I wish him nothing but the best."

Fisher spoke fondly of his time at Florida State, where the Seminoles won three straight Atlantic Coast Conference championships and a national title during his eight years in Tallahassee.

"We had some great times there," Fisher recalled.

But Fisher bailed on the program in December 2017. Five days later, Taggart was hired.

The Seminoles finished 5-7 in Taggart's first year -- their first losing season since 1976 -- and missed a bowl game for the first time since 1981. Things didn't appear to be getting better in Taggart's second year, and he was fired the day after Florida State's 27-10 loss to Miami at home.

Taggart was 9-12 with the Seminoles, including a 0-5 record against rivals Clemson, Florida and Miami.

Fisher couldn't say whether Taggart was given enough time to succeed.

"I don't know what was going on or anything," he said. "I don't know the inner workings of anything that was going on in that regard. I'd be the wrong guy to ask on that one."