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Florida State football coach Willie Taggart met with local boosters at Pensacola Yacht Club Bill Vilona / [email protected]

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Florida State’s Willie Taggart, right, autographs some FSU memorabilia from Terence Gross, during the football coaches visit with the Greater Pensacola Seminole Club at the Pensacola Yacht Club Wednesday, April 25, 2018. (Photo: Tony Giberson/[email protected])Buy Photo

Willie Taggart sat on a director’s chair inside the Pensacola Yacht Club, framed by the backdrop of Pensacola Bay that matched the mood.

Sunny and wonderful.

As the Blue Angels sent a trail wisp in the distant sky from their nearby Wednesday practice, a luncheon supporter jokingly suggested to Florida State’s new football coach they were flying in his honor. 

“I gotta to win games first, before they do that,” said Taggart, breaking into a bright smile and laughter that filled the sold out luncheon event.

It was the kind of instant, self-deprecating humor that reminded of legendary Bobby Bowden, who could wing it with the best of them.

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It was also reinforcement that Taggart is a light-years difference in demeanor from his predecessor Jimbo Fisher. 

Taggart, who turns 42 in August, introduced himself Wednesday to Pensacola’s legion of FSU supporters in a stopover on the Seminole Boosters Spring Tour. He then headed to Panama City for a dinner event. 

More: FSU’s Taggart comes to Pensacola with interest in Helton, Medley

There has not been an energy, an enthusiasm or a ticket clamoring at this annual event statewide since Bowden’s heyday in the roaring 90’s. The Greater Pensacola Seminole Club sold out of seats two weeks ago and turned away people in recent days seeking be at this event. 

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