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University Beat

Willie Taggart Fired As FSU Football Coach

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Willie Taggart

Florida State has fired Willie Taggart, the move coming a day after the Seminoles lost to rival Miami and with the team in danger of missing a bowl for the second consecutive season.

Taggart was 9-12 in parts of two seasons at Florida State, which won the national title in 2013 and has been in a freefall for the last three seasons. The Seminoles have not been ranked this season, have played sloppily and undisciplined under Taggart, and attendance figures have plummeted.

"We had no choice but to make a change," Florida State President John Thrasher said Sunday in a news release.

The school said longtime Florida State assistant Odell Haggins has been asked to take over as interim coach for the remaining three games. Haggins was 2-0 as the interim in 2017, after Jimbo Fisher left Florida State for Texas A&M late in the 2017 season.

"We still have a lot of faith," Florida State linebacker Emmett Rice said Saturday. "We have a lot to play for. It's not over just because we lost to Miami."

Taggert, who is a Bradenton native, was the University of South Florida’s head coach for four seasons.  Near the end of the 2016 season, he left the Bulls to run the program at the University of Oregon.

Taggart is 56-62 as a head coach, but went only 16-20 at Western Kentucky, 24-25 at South Florida, 7-5 in his lone season at Oregon and then lost 12 of his 21 games at Florida State.

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