Oregon Ducks still picking up the pieces after Willie Taggart's departure

Cheryl Sanders
December 7, 2017

The Florida State fight song accompanied Willie Taggart into his introductory press conference as the Seminoles' new head coach.

Taggart revealed the timetable that led the Wednesday's press conference.

Taggart, who has amassed a 47-50 record in three head coaching stops before Florida State, becomes the school's 10th head coach in history. Taggart, however, is just the third Florida State head coach since 1976, which was the first season for former Seminoles coaching legend Bobby Bowden. FSU athletic director Stan Wilcox called Taggart on Sunday to, "catch up". On Monday night, after making an appearance at FSU's men's basketball game against Loyola, Taggart was already heading out on the recruiting trail.

Willie Taggart started his Florida State career with the Tomahawk Chop as he arrived to cheerleaders and the Seminoles marching band. I apologize. The timing is probably not right, but it's never right when it's time to leave.


The timing couldn't be much worse for OR with a bowl game to play on December 16 and an early recruiting signing period beginning on December 20.

Interim coach Mario Cristobal and defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt are expected to be in-house candidates to replace Taggart.

Florida State went 6-6 this year - its worst record during the Fisher era - and barely made a bowl game, winning its final three games of the season just to finish with a.500 record.

OR players aren't the only ones who felt mislead by a coach leaving this week. He also said he doesn't see Florida State's 6-6 year as a sign it's in a rebuilding phase - but rather a "realignment".


From 2007 to 2012 he was the head coach at Florida International.

Cristobal joined OR in January. "I knew we had found our guy".

"That's a bonus, but that's not where you start because that narrows the pool", Mullens said on the importance of candidates having a tie to the program after getting burned by Taggart.

Oregon's first practice since Taggart left will be on Saturday.


The Ducks (7-5) play No. 25 Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium (12:30 p.m., ABC). "I feel like our recruiting class is not going to be as good as it should have been in the coming years", said Lucas Murphy, a freshman at U of O. There's nothing I can do about it, it's not in my control.

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