He’s baaaack. Not one full year after formally being introduced at Oregon, Willie Taggart agreed to return home and accept the Florida State offer to replace Jimbo Fisher, as the new head coach of the Noles.
As we wrote last night, Taggart had met with FSU officials in Arizona on Monday and things heated up from there. So much so, that he called off continuing to recruit for the Ducks, as planned, and went back to Eugene, OR.
Taggart just completed his first season with the Ducks at 7-5 off of a blowout win over rival Oregon State in their “Civil War” rivalry game 11 days ago. He had previously coached at USF leading the Bulls to their first 10 win season in program history in 2016 and then, bolting for the Oregon opening shortly after the regular season ended last December.
The 41 year old Taggart was also previously head coach at Western Kentucky, where he was a star QB, and was formerly an assistant under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. Taggart was a star option QB at Bradenton Manatee High School during his player career and played for Harbaugh’s dad, Jack Harbaugh at WKU.
It’s not clear at the moment whom from his Ducks staff will join him. Will it include defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, a former Bulls head coach himself? Is Leavitt possibly in line to take over Oregon? Might Leavitt have another head coaching opportunity?
There was also talk that Oregon defensive assistant and former FIU head coach Mario Cristobal would join Taggart at FSU, but Cristobal has been named the interim head coach at Oregon so that seems unlikely, at least for now.
Should circumstances change, though, both Leavitt and Cristobal would bolster Taggart’s efforts to recruit the state. But, a lot of this is fluid.
Details of the deal were not confirmed, but Pete Thamel learned this from a source:
Source: Willie Taggart’s terms at FLORIDA STATE are 6 years and $30 million. (He has obviously taken that job and left Oregon. Long day).
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 5, 2017
That would be a $2million salary increase from his Oregon deal this past season.
Taggart reportedly met with his Oregon team Tuesday afternoon and informed them.
He will be introduced in Tallahassee at an 11am press conference on Wednesday.
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