Willie Taggart coming back to Florida to coach FSU


Florida State now has a replacement for coach Jimbo Fisher, hiring Oregon's Willie Taggart on Tuesday afternoon.

"Even before Fisher left Florida State, a source said OR offered Taggart a one-year extension on his existing contract, through 2022, increasing his five-year deal to $18 million", college football insider Brett McMurphy wrote.

The Ducks are putting all their chips on Willie Taggart staying in Eugene as they've tried to lock him up long term.

ESPN reported just before 1 p.m. that Taggart confirmed the move to their reporters directly.

It will be Taggart's third program in three seasons.

The Seminoles have entered new territory following Fisher's departure.

McMurphy also confirmed a previous report that OR offered to give Taggart a raise, even offering the coach a one-year extension before Fisher left Florida State. He led USF to a win against SC in the Birmingham Bowl last season before heading to Oregon.

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FSU will play Southern Miss in the Independence Bowl while Taggart's old school, Oregon, faces Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

The Florida State football program has its new leader.

Co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Mario Cristobal will serve as the interim head coach. He took over in 2010 following Bowden's retirement.

When Taggart was hired by OR, he said he had three basic tenets: "Make no excuses, blame no one, do something". "'Do Something" became his tagline for his first season with the Ducks. From there, the Ducks lost four of their next five after an injury to starting quarterback Justin Herbert. Taggart is expected to bring in several top assistants, many with ties to the state of Florida.

Taggart will be tasked with restoring a Florida State program that has failed to live up to expectations the last two seasons. In eight seasons, Fisher went 83-23 (.783) and guided the Seminoles to three ACC titles as well as the 2013 national championship. After quarterback Deondre Francois was injured in the highly-anticipated opener against Alabama, FSU, ranked No. 3 to begin the season, got off to a awful 2-5 start.

Taggart, 41, replaced Mark Helfrich at OR last season and guided the Ducks to a 7-5 record and an upcoming trip to the Las Vegas Bowl to face 25th-ranked Boise State.

OR had reportedly offered Taggart a little more than $20 million over five years to stay in Eugene. He was offered a four year, $20 million extension a week ago when it appeared that the Florida State job would be open.