Taggart reaches goal of returning home to lead Florida State after Fisher left for Texas A&M – Dallas News (blog)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Willie Taggart grew up a Florida State fan and dreamed of playing for the Seminoles.
He never donned the garnet and gold as a player, but has managed to one-up that goal.
Taggart was introduced as the 11th head coach in Florida State history on Wednesday as he returns to the Sunshine State after one season at Oregon. The 41-year old Bradenton native coached at South Florida from 2013-16 before taking the Ducks job.
The news conference capped a hectic two weeks at Florida State that included Jimbo Fisher resigning last Friday to accept the opening at Texas A&M .
“Guess I wasn’t good enough to get a scholarship to play here,” quipped Taggart, who played and later coached at Western Kentucky. “No matter where I went, I rooted for the Seminoles. Until I went to South Florida. That was the first time I had to root against the Seminoles.
“People say blood is thicker than water. Not in my household. We’re playing the Seminoles and my brother, die-hard ‘Nole fan, was talking about the game and said, ‘I’m sorry, bro, I love you. But I can’t go against my ‘Noles.’ That’s just how it was.”
It was an emotional news conference for Taggart, who fought back tears a couple times when he talked about returning home and cheering for Deion Sanders, Charlie Ward and Derrick Brooks when he was growing up.
Three days after Fisher resigned, Taggart met with Florida State President John Thrasher, athletic director Stan Wilcox and board of trustees member Ed Burr on Monday in Scottsdale, Arizona. After weighing the offer overnight, Taggart accepted on Tuesday and informed his players at Oregon .
He arrived in Tallahassee early Wednesday morning and met with the team before the news conference. Taggart said he appreciated Oregon athletic director Rod