Former Florida State head coach fired for second time since 2019

former florida state head coach fired for second time since 2019

The Seminoles are still paying Willie Taggart a buyout.

The last couple of years have not been kind to former Florida State head coach Willie Taggart, who was fired by the Seminoles in 2019.

On Saturday, Taggart received his second pink slip in three years after Florida Atlantic concluded the 2022 season with a 32-31 loss. The defeat held the Owls out of the postseason for the third consecutive season. The results were incredibly frustrating considering the starts that the team got off to before dropping off massively.

Florida Atlantic got off to a 5-1 mark in 2020, 5-3 in 2021, and 5-5 this season. However, the Owls compiled a 4-9 combined record following November 1 under Taggart, showing a lack of the ability to finish.

The university announced the news in a statement from Florida Atlantic Director of Athletics, Brian White.

“This evening, we made a change in leadership with the Florida Atlantic University football program. It was a difficult decision, as we have tremendous respect for Willie Taggart. He has represented FAU with class and character. However, the lack of on-field success needed to be addressed as we look toward the future. A national search will begin immediately to identify and recruit the best coach to lead FAU Football as we begin play in the American Athletic Conference next season. With the integrity of the search in mind, we will have no further public comment until the announcement of the Owls’ next head football coach.”

Taggart finished 15-18 in three years with the Owl that included one bowl game. Florida Atlantic has gone 10-17 under his guidance since getting off to a 5-1 start in the middle of the 2020 campaign. Taggart was involved in a lawsuit over the summer after being sued by a former player that he coached at Oregon.

Formerly at Florida State, Taggart finished 9-12 in parts of two seasons in Tallahassee. He was let go following a 27-10 home loss to Miami. The Seminoles have been paying him a monthly buyout ever since and the program is still on the hook for a $4.25 million check in 2023.

Current head coach Mike Norvell is making an average of $4.42 million over his first six years in Tallahassee. Norvell delivered Florida State nine wins (and counting) in 2022.

Stick with NoleGameday for more coverage of Florida State football throughout the season.

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