By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
December 6, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Willie Taggart is Florida State University's first black permanent head football coach.
In his press conference on Wednesday, Taggart made sure to give credit to FSU's interim head coach, Odell Haggins, calling him the first black head coach.
Haggins briefly served as interim head coach after Jimbo Fisher's sudden departure.
As Godby High School's first black head football coach, former FSU football player Corey Fuller is proud to see Taggart fill the position.
Fuller said, "Times have changed in this country and this society. Are we still behind? Yes. But, the reality is, we've taken some giant steps in the last 10, 15 years."
Fuller says those steps are very visible in FSU athletics.
"The university that I played at, I think they've done away with this barrier of color at Florida State. You got a black basketball coach, you got a black A.D., you got a black football coach," Fuller said.
FSU fan Michael Honeycutt says Taggart's position means a lot to the African American community.
"A lot of times, we're shown negatively. To have a young, black male that is doing positive things over and around the country, that's great. That is absolutely great," he said. "It's great for America and it's great for African Americans. I'm very proud of him."
FSU student Jessica Rylands said, "I think that's incredible. That's going to be a good way to promote a lot of progress and it will be very good for the university."
Tallahassee resident Bobbie Brundidge said, "Look, we had a black president. So, yes, it wasn't shocking. It was coming."
FSU alum Debbie Higdon said, "I don't think it matters one way or the other. Either one will be just fine. Looking forward to next year."
Taggart said, "I do understand a lot of people are counting on me to do well and I appreciate that and I take pride in doing a good job."