Florida State fires Willie Taggart after less than 2 seasons, $20 million raised to buy out contract


Florida State head coach Willie Taggart, right, disagrees with the referee in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Miami in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)


Florida State fired head coach Willie Taggart on Sunday, a day after losing 27-10 to Miami.

The Seminoles (4-5, 3-4 ACC) were 9-12 overall and 6-9 in the ACC under Taggart in less than two seasons. In fact, Taggart went 0-5 against rivals Florida, Miami and Clemson.

“I spoke to coach Taggart this afternoon to let him know of our decision,” Florida State athletic director David Coburn said in a released statement. “I met with the team and coaches immediately after that conversation to let them know of the change. It was very important to us that the student-athletes know right away.”

Defensive line coach Odell Haggins will take over as the interim head coach.

Taggart lost 12 total games in his previous 3 seasons as head coach at Oregon and South Florida combined.

FSU raised roughly $20 million in private donations to buy out Taggart’s contract, sources told ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.

On Saturday, Miami freshman Jarren Williams threw for a season-best 313 yards and two touchdowns as Miami won its third straight game against Florida State.

FSU’s Alex Hornibrook completed 17 of 24 passes for just 135 yards, and the Seminoles managed just 31 net rushing yards on 41 carries.

Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.