We know that former USF head coach and most recently Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt has great affinity for the State of Florida. Now the question is is he willing to come help Florida State an embattled coach Willie Taggart, even as a consultant?
it certainly appears that way after Leavitt was in Tallahassee meeting with Taggart and observing a spring practice earlier this week.
Noles beat reporter Josh Newberg of 24/7 Sports even scored an interview with Leavitt on his podcast about weather he might be coming on board with a Seminoles:
— Josh Newberg (@joshnewberg247) March 22, 2019
As Leavitt said on the podcast:
“Well, you just said it — I don’t have a job — so I’m interested in anything,” Leavitt said with a laugh. “When you’re not working, you’re always going to listen to anybody that might present an opportunity for you.”
“I’ve moved on and settled with Oregon. I’m in a good position right now, been able to travel and see some places. I’m really just taking this opportunity to travel around and see a lot of people I know, watch spring ball, talk about defense to quite a few people and get better at what I do. A lot of times you don’t have the opportunity to do that.”
We wrote previously about Oregon and coach Mario Cristobal, deciding to dismiss Leavitt after his two seasons in Eugene. Leavitt did get a handsome buyout that is contingent on whether he coaches and in what role in 2019 and 2020.
He could choose to “consult,” not unlike what former Tennessee coach Butch Jones did with Alabama last year after being fired by the Vols. Also, fired Arkansas college coach, Bret Bielema “consulted” with the Patriots during their Super Bowl winning 2018 season, while being paid by the Hogs.
Leavitt rose to prominence in college coaching, as the original architect and head coach of USF program in the late 1990s. The Bulls made NCAA FBS history becoming the first school ever to move to FBS after fewer than four seasons of existence.
Leavitt was fired in January of 2010 after controversy at USF over him allegedly striking a player at halftime of a game that 2009 season. The school, led by athletic director Doug Woolard, attempted to claim that the firing was for cause, and that Leavitt had attempted to cover up the incident and change witness and the accuser’s stories. The school then tried to not pay him any of his remaining salary.
From the Bulls, Leavitt coached in the NFL as a linebackers coach with the 49ers under Jim Harbaugh. And then, he later coached a season at Colorado, as their defensive coordinator. Next, he came to Oregon to join Taggart, when he took that job two years ago.
The connection of Taggart and Leavitt is an interesting one that goes back to Taggart’s playing days at Bradenton Manatee High School, when Leavitt recruited him.
Now, we will wait to see if Leavitt wants to help Taggart or wait for another opportunity next December/January, when the coaching cycles in college and the NFL crank back up.
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