Will he stay or will he go? Is Willie Taggart one and done at Oregon? It is certainly a wild time on the college coaching carousel.
Just one day after new Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith was talking about his dream job in Corvallis, fans are wondering if Taggart’s could be in Tallahassee.
The Florida State top job is now open with Jimbo Fisher fleeing the Seminoles for Texas A&M, and Fisher and Taggart share the same agent, Jimmy Sexton.
The Bradenton, Florida, native certainly came across as non-committal speaking with reporters Friday.
“Somebody asked me if I was happy and all of that, and I am still smiling, still happy, still the coach here,” Taggart said. “Not addressing any of that rumor stuff.”
Many at the media session pressed Taggart on if he would be returning for season number two, with the head Duck having a quick response.
“Why wouldn’t I be? I have a contract. I am the football coach,” he said. “I am going to practice and it’s going to be a damn good practice.”
Trying to keep the focus on the game on the field instead of the rumor mill, Taggart tried directing the conversation to the practice for the ducks’ looming bowl game.
‘Can we talk about the bowl game?’ pic.twitter.com/z2rBZUtNN5— Nick Krupke (@NickKrupke) December 1, 2017
Still, questions persisted, including on how the headlines were affecting his current squad.
“I addressed it with them as soon as I got back from recruiting and explained to them and also used that as a teaching moment to make them understand how it all works,” Taggart said. “How social media works, how rumors work, but like I said back then, I am always open and honest with my players.”
A normally Twitter-savvy guy, Taggart denied that he or his agent had been contacted by Florida State.
“Sorry I can’t give you guys what you want, but I am going to coach my football team,” he told reporters.
His players seemed to be echoing the coach, saying that they had no information to share but adding that they trust in Taggart.
“If Coach Taggart has something to say, he’ll tell us,” junior quarterback Justin Herbert said. “He’s an honest guy and we’ve got his back and he’ll let us know if anything is up.”
Herbert essentially saying if Willie had something to tell the team, he’d tell ‘em. He hasn’t told ‘em. pic.twitter.com/M82L8ztz8w— Nick Krupke (@NickKrupke) December 1, 2017
#GoDucks first bowl practice under Willie Taggart. Postseason destination announced Sunday afternoon. Safe to assume some clarity of his Oregon coaching future will be known by the end of the weekend. pic.twitter.com/C12EEYLeVO— Nick Krupke (@NickKrupke) December 1, 2017
Taggart was reportedly offered an extension and raise at Oregon last weekend but has yet to accept.
The only certainty now is that the 7-and-5 Ducks are bowling. Ducks fans will have to wait until Sunday to know which bowl game they will be headed to, and who knows how long to learn if Taggart will be leading Oregon into the postseason or beyond.
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