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Oregon Hall of Famer expresses disappointment in Willie Taggart's departure

07 December, 2017, 03:18 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Willie Taggart

Florida State University officially introduced Willie Taggart as its new head football coach on Wednesday.

The Florida State Seminoles were able to lure their No. 1 target to Tallahassee in the aftermath of the Jimbo Fisher defection to Texas A&M and, given what has transpired elsewhere during the coaching carousel, the 'Noles should be roundly praised for that. Taggart, however, is just the third Florida State head coach since 1976, which was the first season for former Seminoles coaching legend Bobby Bowden. He was a four-year starter at the position at Western Kentucky where he was coached by Jack Harbaugh and recruited by Harbaugh's son Jim, who got his start in coaching on his father's WKU staff while still playing in the NFL. Florida State is a dream job for any coach, especially one who hails from the Florida area.

Recruiting goals for Taggart?

"Right now it's great", Taggart said. "If you're born and raised here, it's hard not to grow up a 'Nole", Taggart said.

"I get a chance to evaluate, which is pretty cool ... usually when you are taking over, it's probably because someone got let go", he said. "We need to put a fence around the state of Florida and try to keep our best players here". "If you're going to chase your dream, I'm going to ride with you, '" Taggart said.

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Taggart will be tasked with turning around a program that was projected to be a playoff team in 2017 before injuries and other factors led to a 6-6 regular season finish and a berth in the Independence Bowl on December 27th.

The smiles from Taggart, left, and Wilcox, right, say it all.

OR started this past season 4-1 and even briefly popped into the AP rankings, but starting quarterback Justin Herbert broke his collarbone and the Ducks floundered, going 1-4 without him. The Bulls doubled their win total in each of Taggart's first three years before their stellar 2016 season in which USF won 11 games (Taggart left before the bowl game) and finished ranked in the top 25 for the first time in program history. Co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Mario Cristobal will be the interim head coach when OR faces Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 16.

Yahoo Sports reporter Pete Thamel reported Taggart's contract is a six-year, $30 million deal, according to sources.

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