It was reported on Wednesday that former FSU OL coach, Greg Frey, will not be out of work this season and he actually will be helping the Seminoles hated rivals in Gainesville.
Frey, who played on the 1993 National Title title team and graduated from Florida State in 1996, spent last year on Willie Taggart’s coaching staff during what turned into a dismal season. Well, he’ll now fill an off-the-field role, as an analyst for Dan Mullen and the Gators.
Osceola News reporter, Patrick Burnham broke the news first on Twitter:
— Patrick Burnham (@PSB5153) July 17, 2019
And the hire was later confirmed by Noles247 reporter Josh Newberg.
Got direct confirmation that former FSU OL coach Greg Frey has accepted an offer to join the Gators staff in an off field role as an analyst. Big get. A proven coach and recruiter coming over from a rival with something to prove.
— Josh Newberg (@joshnewberg247) July 17, 2019
Frey was dismissed with one year left on his contract. So, he’ll still be getting paid by Florida State, while working, as a consultant for its rival.
We previously reported that Frey was fired from the Seminoles back in February, The move did not come as a huge surprise, because Florida State’s offensive line specifically, was a disaster for much of last season. A season in which the Noles finished 5 – 7 for their first year under .500 since 1977. And, the offensive line continually struggled to pick up the new system of former offensive coordinator Walt Bell, and even more glaring, be able to do simple things like: pass block regularly for quarterback, Deondre Francois.
Though his time with Florida State certainly hasn’t been the highlight of his coaching career, he’s got a proven record from his years at other notable programs such as Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, and USF.
While Frey’s role will be primarily off the field, he’ll certainly provide some assistance to Florida’s offensive line coach John Hevesy, who improved the Gator’s offensive line tremendously as the line allowed just 18 sacks last season compared to the 110 allowed over the previous three seasons.
This coaching change will add another layer, and reason to win, in an already heated rivalry.
FAU hires former FSU coach Willie Taggart
The “coaching carousel” of college football continues to spin, and for Florida State fans, they have to be pleased, as it looks like Willie Taggart will immediately take another job and not even leave the state.
Florida Atlantic is nearing completion of a deal w/Willie Taggart, source told @Stadium. Taggart would be a huge get for FAU w/his recruiting ties in the state
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 11, 2019
Taggart, who was fired in November, halfway into his second season at Florida State, will be replacing Lane Kiffin, who departed for Ole Miss after Saturday’s Conference USA championship game win over UAB.
The reason Florida State fans have to be so enthusiastic is the Taggart was reportedly owed over $17 million on his buyout with four years left on his deal. However, that amount has to be lessened some, if not significantly, since he’s going to immediately take another head coaching job.
FAU made the hire official later on Wednesday night:
— FAU Football (@FAU_Football) December 11, 2019
Taggart went just 9-12 in his season and a half, which included Florida State suffering their first losing season in over forty years in 2018, when they went 5 – 7. When 2019 began with a collapsing loss at home to Boise State and then a near loss-OT victory over UL-Monroe, it seemed the handwriting was on the wall.
The final blow in Tallahassee came when Taggart’s team looked lifeless and undisciplined in their 27-10 loss to ACC instate rival Miami. He was dismissed the next afternoon.
Taggart came to FSU from Oregon, where he spent one year and went 7-5 before jumping, again, in December of 2017 to take the Noles job. He previously was the coach at USF for four seasons, where after starting 2-10 year one, he reversed that number in his final year (2016) to 10 – 2.
FAU enjoyed a resurgence under Kiffin and just won the C-USA Championship Game for the second time in three years. South Florida is obviously fertile ground for recruits and Taggart definitely has much experience recruiting the state for both the Seminoles, the Bulls and having also previously played High School football in Sarasota.
FSU coaching staff- who’s in and who’s out so far
Mike Norvell is wasting no time getting into his recruiting stride in Tallahassee, and he’s starting from the top down, with his coaching staff. So far, he’s secured two coaches that will be a part of the FSU staff in 2020.
With head coaching changes, traditionally comes a “clean sweep” of the previous coaches staff. However, Norvell’s first official hire was one of the programs most familiar faces, Odell Haggins. Norvell announced on Monday that Haggins will continue to run the Noles Defensive line and will be an associate head coach.
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) December 9, 2019
In his announcement he said, “I’m extremely excited to announce that Coach Odell Haggins will be my first official assistant coach here at Florida State,” Norvell said. “He is an incredible representative of Florida State football, a tremendous leader and teacher and a wonderful man. His knowledge and understanding of the Nole Way will be critical in our pursuit of excellence for this football team on and off the field.”
Norvell’s next hire, announced Monday afternoon, is Auburn OC Kenny Dillingham in the same role with the Seminoles.
Source: Florida State is hiring Auburn OC Kenny Dillingham as the offensive coordinator. He worked under Mike Norvell at Memphis and Arizona State is considered one of the country's rising OC stars.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 9, 2019
The news means that Kendal Briles is officially out, who likely won’t have a hard time landing somewhere else, as one of the nations most promising OC’s, despite the lackluster year with FSU’s struggling offense.
Dillingham was preciously an assistant to Norvell at Memphis for three seasons from 2016 to 2018, before taking his job at Auburn. In his final year at Memphis he was promoted to OC, and lead an offense that ranked fourth nationally in total offense (534.3 ypg), third in rushing offense (285.5 ypg) and seventh in scoring offense (43.6 ppg).
Now on to what may be the most import hire of Norvell’s new staff, a frontman for the FSU defense. Right now, it is rumored that his third hire could be a coordinator from another SEC powerhouse. There’s lots of chatter online about the potential of Norvell landing Georgia’s current DC, Dan Lanning. While nothing has been confirmed yet, the move seems likely due to the connection between Norvell and Lanning at both Arizona State in 2012 and again at Memphis in 2016. Many Seminole fans are speculating on his potential move to Tallahassee when they noticed Lanning following FSU players and media on Twitter Monday afternoon.
Why is uga dc Dan lanning following our players 🤫 pic.twitter.com/ign0sEK2qp
— COONIE (@CooN6GoTDouGH) December 9, 2019
As of right now, it is just talk, though he certainly would be an amazing hire for FSU. Much of what undid Willie Taggart was the failure to produce a solid defensive scheme. If an announcement about Lanning’s move is made in the next couple of days, it would be an excellent first week on the job for Norvell.