Florida State fires Taggart
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[November 04, 2019]
Florida State fired embattled
coach Willie Taggart on Sunday less than two years after hiring him
to replace Jimbo Fisher.
The Seminoles are just 4-5 this season after Saturday's 27-10 loss
to Miami, and 9-12 overall under Taggart's leadership. Taggart has
four-plus seasons remaining on a six-year, $30 million deal. His
reported buyout is $17 million.
Defensive line coach Odell Haggins was named interim head coach.
"I spoke to Coach Taggart this afternoon to let him know of our
decision," Florida State athletic director David Coburn said in a
statement. "I met with the team and coaches immediately after that
conversation to let them know of the change. It was very important
to us that the student-athletes know right away."
Florida State president John Thrasher said the university had "no
choice" but to dismiss the 43-year-old Taggart.
"I think very highly of Coach Taggart and wish him well, but in the
interest of the university we had no choice but to make a change,"
Thrasher said in a statement. "We will support our student-athletes
in every way and do all we can to return to the winning tradition
that is Seminole football."
The university said it will partake in a national search to identify
a new head coach.
Taggart said he was dismayed to be dismissed in a statement released
on his Twitter account.
"Obviously, I am disappointed in the decision today as I believe our
future is bright at Florida State," Taggart said. "Building a
program and a culture takes time, and I regret that we will not have
the opportunity to continue to coach these incredible young men."
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Florida State Seminoles head coach Willie Taggart during the game
against the Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory
Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Taggart has a 56-62 record in 10 seasons as a head coach. He came to
Florida State after one season at Oregon (7-5 in 2017). He also
coached Western Kentucky (2010-12) and South Florida (2013-16).
Taggart was under heat during his first season as the school's
36-season bowl streak ended. The intensity picked up even more this
season with the Seminoles again enduring a season well below past
"I want to thank the Florida State faithful for their support as we
worked towards building a program that they could be proud of,"
Taggart said. "On behalf of my family and I, we wish Florida State
nothing but the best and will be cheering on the Seminoles the rest
of the way."
Haggins also served as interim coach for the final two games of the
2017 season after Fisher took the Texas A&M job. The Seminoles won
--Field Level Media
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