Willie Taggart agrees to deal with Florida State

Christian Petersen

Willie Taggart is leaving the University of OR to become head coach of Florida State.

The job vacancy first opened last Friday when it was announced that Jimbo Fisher would leave for the same position at Texas A&M. While Taggart is said to have been happy in his first year at OR, he is a Florida native and could not pass up the opportunity to coach one of the biggest programs in his home state.

Taggart, who hails from Bradenton, Florida, has been a head coach in college football for eight seasons now. After the 2006 season, Taggart was then brought in as the running backs coach at Stanford by the newly hired head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Since Florida State launched its search, Willie Taggart has been the top candidate, presumably. Taggart, 41, is in his first season at Oregon. Previously, Taggart cultivated a reputation as a program-builder at Western Kentucky (where he was a quarterback in the 1990s) and South Florida. In his final year with South Florida, Taggart led the school to 10 wins and a victory over SC in the Birmingham Bowl.

Taggart's first homecoming came after coaching Western Kentucky, his alma mater, from 2010-12.

Taggart is known for changing cultures and being highly adaptable at all of the schools he has coached. He went 7-5 his final two years at WKU and won 10 games in 2016 with USF. According to 247Sports, he reeled in the nation's ninth best recruiting class for 2018 with nine 4-star recruits, four of which were from Florida.

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