Florida State hires Oregon's Willie Taggart as new head coach

Florida State has hired Oregon coach Willie Taggart as its new head coach.

The Seminoles met with Taggart in Arizona on Monday afternoon and completed negotiations on Tuesday.

Taggart has called a team meeting at 4:30 p.m. EST and is expected to inform his players that he is taking the job.

With the hire, FSU has had three permanent head coaches in the last 40 years dating back to Bobby Bowden being hired in 1976. 

Defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins was the interim head coach for the Seminoles' 42-10 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday, and will be the interim coach again for the Independence Bowl against Southern Miss on Dec. 27.

Including Haggins, Taggart is the 11th head coach in the history of the FSU program.

Oregon finished the 2017 regular season with a 7-5 record under Taggart one year after hiring him. The Ducks finished 4-8 in 2016. 

He has an overall record of 47-50, but those numbers are slightly misleading considering the state of the programs that he took over. In the year prior to Taggart taking over Western Kentucky, South Florida, and Oregon, the three teams were a combined 9-27.

He led WKU to two winning seasons in 2011 and 2012 after becoming a first-time head coach in 2010, and led USF to its first 10 win season in 2016 before leaving for Oregon.

He was the running backs coach at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh prior to taking over the Hilltoppers.

Taggart's buyout is currently $3 million, but Oregon offered Taggart a five-year, $20 million extension to remain head coach over a week ago.

Taggart is considered an ace recruiter and has the Ducks sitting at No. 6 in the 247Sports composite team rankings. The next closest Pac-12 team is UCLA at No. 16.

The Seminoles recruiting class is currently ranked No. 32 after a rash of decommitments during the Jimbo Fisher saga.

With the college football's new early signing period from Dec. 20-22, Taggart is going to have to get a staff in place quickly to keep together the remainder of the class and start recruiting his own players.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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