FSU Head Coaching Search: What We Know

By: WCTV Eyewitness Sports
November 5, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Florida State is on the hunt for its next head football coach, following the firing of Willie Taggart on November 3.

Here's what we know regarding the search for the next head coach for Florida State football.

Taggart Firing

Florida State announced the firing of Willie Taggart on Sunday, November 3, after just 21 games as head coach with FSU.

His firing came just hours after a 27-10 loss at home against Miami, which saw FSU fall to 4-5 on the season.

FSU Athletic Director David Coburn said the day following Taggart's firing that ticket sales, booster contributions and other financial factors led to the university's decision to let go of Taggart.

Tuesday morning, FSU Athletic Director David Coburn announced the university hired DHR International, a global executive search firm, to help find the school's next head football coach.

Names to Know

One name circulating for the gig is former Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops, who retired from college football in 2017 and is currently the head coach and GM of the XFL's Dallas Renegades.

A source inside the FSU program denied that the Seminoles' next coach would be Stoops in a phone call to WCTV Sports Director Kevin Keane.

Three sources outside of the program, but with strong connections to FSU football and boosters, were not able to confirm Stoops, or anyone else, as a candidate for the position.

WCTV also reached out the Dallas Renegades for comment on Stoops' status with the team, but they have not returned calls.

WCTV reporter Sophia Hernandez spoke to multiple boosters about Taggart's firing. One booster told her any reports of Stoops as a candidate for the FSU job are "all urban legend at this point."

The booster went on to say he would definitely be excited if FSU were able to hire Stoops.

Rick Kearney, who has been a Seminole booster for more than 20 years, says he couldn't confirm anything since he's only heard the same rumors as everyone else.

ESPN College Football Analyst Kirk Herbstreit tweeted that he spoke to Stoops, and he told him he was not a candidate for the FSU job.

Another hot-topic name for the job, Minnesota's P.J. Fleck, announced he had signed a seven-year contract extension with the Gophers.

Other names that have been connected to the job are Urban Meyer, Mark Stoops, Mike Leach, Brent Venables, Tonny Elliot, Mike Norvell, Dave Clawson, Luke Fickell, Lane Kiffin and Matt Campbell.

Bobby weighs in

Legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden weighed in on the coaching search during his 90th birthday celebration on November 5.

“I think the President and the committee need to get together and find the best man they can for the job,” Bowden said. “This school is too good of a school, and it's too good of a program here not to get the best. So I hope they can find the best."

At Bowden's celebration, Haggins spoke highly of the two-time national championship winner, saying, "I'm not going to flinch not one little bit. I'm going to go one hundred miles an hour. Doing what you taught me to do, that's the reason that I can stand up here and smile and the AD and the President entrusted me to lead this team again, because of you, because of y'all."

Haggins shows interest

According to WCTV's media partner in Noles247, Haggins - following FSU's 38-31 win over Boston College - began to show interest in wanting to pick up the head coaching mantle full time.

After Noles247's report ran, players took to Twitter to voice their support for the two-time interim.

WCTV's Coverage

Full coverage from WCTV on Taggart's firing can be seen here:

  • Taggart fired
  • Monday's press conference with AD Coburn, interim HC Odell Haggins
  • Coburn's comments
  • FSU players react to Taggart's firing
  • Speaking with Boosters
  • Local radio host Jeff Cameron weighs in
  • FSU hires search firm
  • Coach Bowden weighs in
  • Opening Drive Podcast: Willie Taggart Firing: Why and What's Next?
  • FSU players endorse Odell Haggins as a head coach candidate

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