On Wednesday, USA Today reported that Oregon head coach Willie Taggart could be headed to Florida State if the Seminoles’ current head coach Jimbo Fisher leaves for Texas A&M.
Then, Sports Illustrated reported that Oregon offered Taggart a new contract in hopes of retaining him if the FSU job opens. The contract was reported to be $20 million over five years. Taggart will make $2.9 million this year in the first year of his four-year, $16 million contract he signed in December of 2016. The new offer would raise his annual salary to $4 million.
Following these reports, Taggart retweeted Tampa Bay Times reporter Joey Knight, who said that Taggart would listen to an offer from Florida State but hinted that Nike founder Phil Knight will play a role in keeping Taggart in Eugene.
Been putting out feelers re: Taggart’s interest in FSU. Of course he’ll listen if ‘Noles call, I’m told. But I’m also told people may be “overplaying the importance of coming back to the home state.” Loves it in Oregon, and Phil Knight is one influential dude
— Joey Knight (@TBTimes_Bulls) November 29, 2017
Taggart, who took the Ducks to a 7-5 season in his first year in charge, would be returning to his home state of Florida if he were to take the job in Tallahassee. He has built the No. 1 recruiting class for 2018, according to Scout.com, and has brought in a coaching staff littered with talent from former San Francisco 49ers linebackers coach Jim Leavitt and former Alabama assistant coach Mario Cristobal.
Much of Taggart’s recruits for Oregon’s 2018 class come from the state of Florida.
One of Taggart’s 2018 recruits, Christopher Randazzo, tweeted, “All Coach Taggart has been saying is how excited he is about this 2018 class. … I don’t believe he is going anywhere.”
If Taggart is to leave Oregon, he would owe Oregon $1.5 million to fulfill his buyout that allowed him take the Oregon job when he left South Florida. His buyout at Oregon is $3 million, totalling to $4.5 million.
Taggart was rumored to be in the running for the head coaching job with the Florida Gators but former Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen was offered and accepted the job in Gainesville.
Taggart is scheduled to speak to the media Friday afternoon.
Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow