Willie Taggart fired by Florida State after a terrible year and a half

Willie Taggart, Florida State Seminoles. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Willie Taggart, Florida State Seminoles. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

Willie Taggart has been fired as the head coach of the Florida State Seminoles after his latest loss to the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday.

It was a bad hire from the start. Florida State University has parted ways with its head football coach Willie Taggart after his team lost to the cross-divisional rival Miami Hurricanes, 27-10, at home on Saturday. Taggart went 9-12 (6-9) in less than two years on the job. This has to be rock bottom for Seminoles football.

Matt Fortuna of The Athletic reports that Taggart will be replaced by Odell Haggins in the interim. This won’t be the first time that Haggins has acted as the Florida State head coach in the interim, as he temporarily replaced Jimbo Fisher when he departed for the Texas A&M Aggies and before Taggart was hired away from the University of Oregon.

Taggart had been a quick climber up the coaching rankings, as he only spent one year in Eugene coaching the Ducks before he came back to the Sunshine State to coach the Seminoles. Taggart had previously been the head coach of the South Florida Bulls (2013-16) and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (2010-12) before that.

He only had a winning record during his one season at Oregon, where he went 7-5 with the 2016 Ducks. We don’t know what’s next for Taggart, but he’s not going to be coaching a Power 5 job as illustrious as the Seminoles’. Can Florida State get someone good to replace him this offseason?

Florida State is still in Florida, which means there’s a ton of talent to recruit without heading north to either Alabama or Georgia. Candidates that could replace Taggart could include Dave Clawson of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and Mark Stoops of the Kentucky Wildcats.

Clawson has won everywhere he’s been and has Wake Forest as a top-25 team in 2019. Stoops had been a defensive coordinator on Fisher’s staff in Tallahassee before heading up to Lexington to turn the Wildcats football program around. Of course, there are other contenders for the Power 5 opening, but those two could be at the top of athletic director David Coburn’s list.

Haggins was 2-0 as an interim coach at Florida State, leading the Seminoles to victories after Fisher left Tallahassee before the 2017 campaign was done. The Seminoles still have three games left to fight for bowl eligibility, but a loss at the end of the year to the rival Florida Gators in the Sunshine Showdown feels inevitable.

Florida State made the right decision to move on from Taggart, but this program hasn’t been in this bad shape since probably before Bobby Bowden left West Virginia. The Seminoles should win 10 games annually and contend for College Football Playoff berths. They need a complete overhaul and will have the opportunity to do that with their next head coaching hire.

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