Head football coach Willie Taggart leaving Oregon, heading to Fl - KPTV - FOX 12

Head football coach Willie Taggart leaving Oregon, heading to Florida State

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The University of Oregon is searching for a new head football coach as Willie Taggart will be returning home to take over as head coach at Florida State.

Taggart, who joined the Ducks program less than a year ago, would be taking over for Jimbo Fisher, who left the Seminoles last week to take over the Texas A&M program.

ESPN reported just before 1 p.m. that Taggart confirmed the move to their reporters directly.

The University of Oregon confirmed Taggart was leaving the program about an hour later. Florida State then announced Taggart's hiring on Twitter. 

Rob Mullens, University of Oregon director of athletics, appointed co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Mario Cristobal as the interim head coach. A nationwide search was immediately launched to find a new permanent head coach. 

According to Sports Illustrated, Taggart was happy with being at Oregon but could not pass up the chance to take over the program he cheered on growing up in Bradenton, Florida.

Oregon went 7-5 under Taggart and was just awarded a spot in the Las Vegas Bowl. That matchup with Boise State is set for Saturday, Dec. 16.

Taggart danced around the topic of the Florida State opening when speaking with reporters last week.

“Somebody asked me if I was happy and all of that, and I am still smiling, still happy, still the coach here,” Taggart said Friday. “Not addressing any of that rumor stuff.”

He took over a program that had gone 4-8 the year prior, ending that season with a 10-point loss to Oregon State in the annual Civil War game.

“We thank Willie for his efforts at Oregon, and we wish him and his family all the best in the future,” Mullens said. “I am grateful to Mario Cristobal for his willingness to step up and lead our program through our upcoming bowl game. The University of Oregon is a high-caliber academic institution with one of the premier college football programs in the country, and we are confident that we will find another outstanding coach to lead our tremendous group of student-athletes into the future."

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