Willie Taggart is set to become the next head football coach at Florida State, according to reports from Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated, Brett McMurphy, John Canzano and confirmed by Taggart to ESPN.
A team meeting between Taggart and Oregon players is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. PT. Co-offensive coordinator Mario Cristobal, a name to watch as a potential candidate to replace Taggart, will reportedly serve as the Ducks' interim coach for the Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State on Dec. 16.
The decision to leave Oregon and replace Jimbo Fisher after just one year with the Ducks comes after a busy Monday that included both recruiting for his former team and meeting his future employer to discuss the gig. Once Jimbo Fisher's interest in Texas A&M started to gain traction, Taggart quickly became a top target for Florida State officials and their efforts to gather research on potential candidates.
Once Fisher was officially on to Texas A&M and Florida State's regular season was complete following a rescheduled game against Louisiana-Monroe, the school's first football coaching search in four decades moved quickly as officials worked to lure Taggart back to his home state.
Taggart, 41, led Oregon to a 7-5 record this year in his first season with the Ducks. Prior to that, he went from two to four to eight to 10 wins in his four seasons with South Florida and got Western Kentucky to back-to-back bowl games in 2011 and 2012. The Bradenton, Florida, native is respected as an offensive coach and a strong recruiter in the state of Florida, giving Seminoles fans plenty of reasons to be excited about the future after losing a national title-winning coach to the SEC.