Willie Taggart to leave OR to become FSU head coach

Willie Taggart to leave OR to become FSU head coach

On Tuesday afternoon, the Florida native resigned from OR in order to accept FSU's offer, Tomahawk Nation reported.

Taggart was reportedly the Seminoles' top choice after Jimbo Fisher left Florida State for Texas A&M last week. With interim coach Odell Haggins at the helm in place of Fisher, the Seminoles won 42-10.

Taggart is considered a skilled recruiter, and given his ties to Florida, he should have success in a talent-rich state. Tigard High School's Bradan Lenzy decommitted. "'Do Something" became his tagline for his first season with the Ducks.

Following graduation, he was hired as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky under Jack Harbaugh, where he served from 1998 until 2006.

At Oregon, Taggart's team was averaging 49.6 points per game as it got off to a 4-1 start.

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Prior to coaching in Eugene, Taggart was the head man at South Florida.

The Ducks are 7-5 this season and play in the Las Vegas Bowl later this month. However, before their bowl game in 2012, he was hired by USF to be their next head coach. But FSU rebounded and won four of five down the stretch to continue the program's record bowl streak to 36 consecutive years. While Oregon is happy to just be playing in a bowl game, this selection actually hurts next year's recruiting. In 2016, Taggart led the Bulls to a 10-2 record with star quarterback Quinton Flowers and running back Marlon Mack.

It hasn't even been a year since Taggart held his introductory press conference at OR, replacing Mark Helfrich. He was also the first African American head coach at each of his first three jobs.

"His values are in line with ours, with academics as important as the product on the field", said Ed Burr, chairman of Florida State's board of trustees.

The Florida native has a 47-50 career head-coaching record overall. "The University of OR is a high-caliber academic institution with one of the premier college football programs in the country, and we are confident that we will find another outstanding coach to lead our tremendous group of student-athletes into the future". Yet for certain, athletic director Stan Wilcox did his due diligence to hire the best-possible candidate for the job. The Ducks play Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 16.

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