TALLAHASSEE – Florida State formally introduced Willie Taggart as its new head coach Wednesday morning. A few highlights:
Taggart, the former USF coach, was clearly emotional about leaving Oregon after only one season. So why'd he go? Because FSU was truly his dream job. He grew up in a family of Seminoles fans, rooting for Deion Sanders and Charlie Ward. He wanted to play for FSU, but Bobby Bowden didn't offer him a scholarship.
'I can officially say I'm in," Taggart said. "I'm in now."
Taggart has turned around three programs: Western Kentucky, USF and Oregon. He said this job is different. It's "more of a realignment" than a rebuild.
FSU's coaching search was quick. Taggart's hire was announced four days after Jimbo Fisher's formal resignation. But that's because the Seminoles had been preparing as if Fisher might leave. President John Thrasher said the process had been going on for "a while," but wouldn't specify how long that meant.
Taggart's contract is a six-year deal worth $5 million annually in base salary. The buyout if he leaves is $5 million. If FSU fires him without cause, it owes him 85 percent of what's left on his contract. FSU will have a pool of $5.5 million for assistant coaches.