Florida State Fires Head Coach Willie Taggart

Willie Taggart with Oregon. Photo by Juan Lainez/Marinmedia.Org/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

When he was hired by Florida State in 2017 as a replacement for Jimbo Fisher, Willie Taggart was supposed to be at the helm of the university’s football program for years to come. But, just 21 games into his tenure with Seminoles, Taggart is out.

Florida announced on Sunday that they have fired Taggart and installed assistant Odell Haggins as interim head coach. The decision was made after Seminoles suffered a surprising 27-10 loss to Miami and fell to 4-5 record.

“I think very highly of Coach Taggart and wish him well, but in the interest of the university we had no choice but to make a change,”  – said FSU president John Thrasher in a statement. “We will support our student-athletes in every way and do all we can to return to the winning tradition that is Seminole football.”

Since arriving at FSU, Willie Taggart struggled to continue the success that the program had under Fisher. Taggart finished his first season with a 5-7 record, which marked the first time Seminoles had a losing year since 1976. They have also missed one bowl invite, the first time since 1981, ending the FBS’s longest active streak.

“Obviously, I am disappointed in the decision today as I believe our future is bright at Florida State,” – said Taggart in a statement posted on his social media. “Building a program and a culture takes time and I regret that we will not have the opportunity to continue to coach these incredible young men.”

Taggart, who signed six-year, $30 million deal in 2017, will earn $17 million in compensation for having his contract terminated ahead of time.

According to reports, the most likely candidates for Seminoles’ head coaching position are Clemson’s co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, and FAU’s Lane Kiffin.