Willie Taggart fired after less than 2 seasons at Florida State


Garrett V., Photojournalist

Garrett V. -Photojournalist

Willie Taggart, the head coach of Florida State’s football team, was fired Sunday after the Seminoles struggled against the University of Miami  with a 27-10 loss the day prior.

Taggart was fired by the FSU less than 2 seasons into his contract. The Seminoles themselves weren’t doing well under Taggart, missing a bowl game for the first time since 1981 last season. So far the Seminoles are 4-5 and need to win at least 2 of the 3 games left to be eligible for the bowl.

Taggert was the replacement for former coach Jimbo Fisher, who left the Seminoles in December of 2017 to be the head coach of Texas A&M University, and according to the Tallahassee Democrat, Taggart had a six-year, $30-million contract that included a clause that if he was fired by FSU, he would receive 85% of the remaining compensation left on his contract, which equals roughly $18 million. Taggart came to the FSU from the University of Oregon in which he was head coach for 1 year, and prior to that he was head coach at the University of South Florida from 2013-2016. His first experience in coaching was at his alma mater, Western Kentucky University. He was head coach there from 2010-2012 after serving as an assistant from 1999-2006. Between his time at Western Kentucky, he was at Stanford University as an assistant coach from 2007-2009.

Taggart had big shoes to fill, with there being only 2 previous head coaches from 1976-2019. One coach was Fisher, who served from 2010-2019, and the other being legendary Bobby Bowden, who coached for 37 years as a head coach, both of whom won national championships while at FSU.

Taggarts replacement for the rest of 2019 will be defensive line coach Odell Haggins, a 26-year veteran of the FSU coaching staff. Haggins was interim head coach in 2017, when Fisher departed.