Taggart addresses Florida State rumors

The rumor mill is spinning, and Oregon head coach Willie Taggart is in the middle of it.

His name is surrounding the now vacant Florida State head coaching job after Jimbo Fisher left for Texas A&M. Taggart, a Florida native, addressed the media on Friday, and the focus was on whether he will be Oregon’s head coach next season.

“Why wouldn’t I be?” Taggart said. “I’m the football coach here. We’ve been working our tails off recruiting and getting ready for bowl practice.”

In the wake of the rumors, Oregon offered Taggart a new contract of five years, $20 million, raising his annual salary to four million.

When asked if he expected to sign it, he said: “I do. My agent, they’re all looking through the contract. When things are like it’s supposed to, we’ll go from there.”

Taggart said he and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, have not been contacted by Florida State. It has been reported that Sexton — who is also Fishers’ agent — was on Florida State’s campus today.

“There’s nothing to report,” Taggart said. “Sorry I can’t give you guys what you want.”

Taggart also said he spoke to his team about the rumors.

“I addressed it with them as soon as I got back from recruiting, explained it to them, and also used it as a teaching moment,” he said.

“I’m always open and honest with our players.”

Despite only one season at Oregon, Taggart’s name has been mentioned for multiple jobs, including Florida and Florida State. The Ducks are headed to a bowl game with an opportunity to double their win total from a season ago, and they have a highly rated recruiting class with multiple players from Florida.

“Whenever you do a good job, people talk about you. … but again, we’re focused on this bowl game,” Taggart said.

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Jack Butler

Jack Butler

I am the sports editor for the Daily Emerald. I cover football and basketball. Email me at [email protected]