Florida State introduces Willie Taggart as new head coach

The former USF coach will head up the Seminoles.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State University officially introduced Willie Taggart as its new head football coach on Wednesday.

Taggart, 41, becomes the 10th full-time head coach in program history and just its third head coach since 1976.

The Bradenton native left the University of Oregon after one season to replace Jimbo Fisher, who left FSU to coach Texas A&M.

"I had a great job at Oregon and it was tough to leave, but this was like the perfect for me, and all the things that I would like to accomplish in this business, you don't always get the perfect fit," Taggart said. "For me to be back home, to be around my family, to have an opportunity to win a national championship, it {doesn't} get any better than that."

Yahoo Sports reporter Pete Thamel reported Taggart's contract is a six-year, $30 million deal, according to sources.

It would be a considerable raise for Taggart, who made an average of about $3.2 million per year at Oregon and about $1.8 million per year at the University of South Florida.

"There's a lot of work to be done in a short amount of time," Taggart said.

College football's early signing period lasts from Dec. 20-22. National Signing Day is Feb. 7, 2018.

"We have to make sure this time next year we're not on the outside looking in when it comes to the ACC Championship," Taggart said. "We're not on the outside looking in when it comes to the College Football Playoff."

Watch: Click or tap here to watch Wednesday's news conference in its entirety

FSU (6-6, 3-5 ACC) will play Southern Mississippi (8-4, 6-2 Conference USA) on Dec. 27 in the Independence Bowl. It will mark the Seminoles 36th consecutive bowl appearance.

"I think it's a unique situation for me coming in here with our football team still playing and practicing," Taggart said. "They got a chance to go a bowl game, and I get a chance to evaluate, which is pretty cool.

"Not often you get to do that when you're taking over a job. Usually, when you're taking over it's probably because someone got let go, but in this case, it's a little different. We still have coaches here working, and players I get a chance to evaluate the coaches, the players and everything. So, I'm looking forward to doing that as I'm in and out of town recruiting and getting back and watching practice."

CBS Sports reports former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, Washington State coach Mike Leach, Florida Atlantic University coach Lane Kiffin, former Florida coach Jim McElwain and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin are candidates to replace Taggart at Oregon.

Oregon could also promote interim head coach Mario Cristobal to the full-time position.

Mark Bergin is a journalist with 10News WTSP. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email him at mbergin@wtsp.com.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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