Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Willie Taggart hired as Florida State's next head coach

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Judith Alexander | 06 December, 2017, 01:13

Florida State has called a news conference for Wednesday morning to introduce Taggart, who informed his OR players on Tuesday he is heading to Tallahassee to replace Jimbo Fisher.

Taggart has previous head coaching stops at Western Kentucky (16-20 overall record in three years), South Florida (24-25 overall record in four years) before he accepted the OR head coaching job last December.

Taggart landed at OR, replacing Mark Helfrich, after three seasons at his alma mater, Western Kentucky, and four at South Florida, where executed a turnaround from 2-10 in his first season to 10-2 in final year.

Willie Taggart as head coach of the Oregon Ducks during a game against Arizona State on September 23, 2017. "He said coaching this team is his dream job".

Taggart has an overall coaching record of 47-50 over eight seasons. He helped South Florida earn its first 10-win season in history in 2016.

Before that he spent three seasons as head coach at his alma mater, Western Kentucky, inheriting a winless program that he turned around with back-to-back winning seasons.

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The Ducks play in the Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State on December 16.

However, to many Florida State fans, this may seem like a questionable hire.

The Florida State football program has its new leader.

OR started 4-1 and even briefly popped into the AP rankings, but starting quarterback Justin Herbert broke his collarbone and the Ducks floundered, going 1-4 without him. He went 18-7 in his final two seasons with the Bulls.

Taggart has been a top target of Florida State since rumors of Fisher's departure for Texas A&M first surfaced.

His record was an impressive 25-9 his past three seasons of coaching, and he earned his teams three consecutive bowl berths.

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