FSU Hires Willie Taggart As New Head Coach

Willie Taggart

By Debby Wong

Less than a week after Jimbo Fisher resigned to take the head coaching position at Texas A&M, the Seminoles will bring in former Oregon coach Willie Taggart as their new coach. Taggart, 41, replaced Mark Helfrich at Oregon last season and guided the Ducks to a 7-5 record and an upcoming trip to the Las Vegas Bowl to face 25th-ranked Boise State. The deal is for six years and $30 million, a source told ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.

A Florida native, Taggart spent four seasons as the coach at South Florida from 2013-16, going 24-25, and was the coach at Western Kentucky (16-20) for three seasons prior to that.

Taggart has an overall coaching record of 47-50 over eight seasons. He has helped his teams become bowl-eligible in four of those seasons, including three straight between South Florida and Oregon.

Florida State finished 6-6 in 2017, winning its regular-season finale against Louisiana-Monroe to extend its bowl streak to 36 consecutive seasons.

“We thank Willie for his efforts at Oregon, and we wish him and his family all the best in the future,” Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said in a statement.

Taggart becomes only the third head coach at Florida State in the past 43 years. Bobby Bowden guided the FSU program for 34 years and Fisher for the past eight years.

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