Florida State Fires Willie Taggart Following Latest Disappointing Loss

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After just 21 games in Tallahassee, Florida State has fired head coach Willie Taggart.

The 43-year-old Taggart joined the Seminoles last season after stints at Oregon, Western Kentucky and South Florida, but was unable to lead FSU to a bowl in 2018 and was merely 4-5 more than halfway through the 2019 season.

"Obviously, I am disappointed in the decision today as I believe our future is bright at Florida State," Taggart said in a statement. "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." 

Florida State was dominated in a 27-10 loss to Miami on Saturday, which dropped Taggart’s conference record to 6-9. The Seminoles had lost three of their last four games.

“I met with the team and coaches after the conversations to let them know of the change,” FSU Director of Athletics David Coburn said in an official release. “It was very important to us that the student-athletes know right away.”

Florida State President John Thrasher added that the university had “no choice but to make a change.”

For firing him, FSU will owe Taggart $17 million, which is the second largest buyout in college football history behind the $19 million Notre Dame owed Charlie Weis after firing him in 2009. Taggart had more than four years remaining on his contract. 

After missing a bowl game last year for the first time since 1981, Florida State is on the cusp of missing postseason play for the second straight season.

Odell Haggins, who is in his 26th season on FSU’s coaching staff, will serve as interim head coach.

The Seminoles travel to play Boston College next week before finishing their season with games against Alabama State and No. 10 Florida.