BREAKING: Former FSU head coach Willie Taggart accepts the job at FAU

Less than a week after it was announced that Lane Kiffin would leave FAU, the university locked down Willie Taggart. This will be his fifth head coaching job.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Zachary Weinberger, Sports Editor

Former FSU head coach Willie Taggart has been hired as the next head coach for FAU, as first reported Wednesday by Stadium. 

Vice President and Director of Athletics Brian White released a statement following the hire of Taggart.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Coach Taggart on board to lead our football program,” White said. “Coach Taggart is a proven program builder who will develop strong relationships with our student-athletes and develop them as future leaders. His deep relationships around the state of Florida and the nation will be vital in recruiting as well. The traits he brings to the table will allow us to continue building upon our recent success.”

Taggart also released a statement as expressed his feeling towards the program:

“I’m grateful to Brian White and President Kelly for their belief in me to lead the football program at Florida Atlantic University,” Taggart said. “I’m looking forward to long-term success here. I think our players and the university deserve that commitment. Family is extremely important to me. I couldn’t do what I do without their love and support and all of us are looking forward to being here in Paradise for the foreseeable future.”

With the news of Lane Kiffin heading to Ole Miss, announced Saturday after the Owls blew out UAB in the conference title game, FAU named defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer the interim head coach. 

A nationwide search was started by the program last week. 

Taggart spent two seasons with Florida State where he compiled a 9-12 record and was fired last month after a home loss to the University of Miami, 27-10. 

His first head coaching gig started in 2010 for C-USA rival Western Kentucky Hilltoppers where he turned the team around after they went 0-12 the year before. In the three years with WKU, he led them to two seven-win seasons. 

Then in 2013, he accepted the job at the University of South Florida and took them to two winning seasons. The USF Bulls won 10 games in his final season.

He left before USF’s bowl game in 2016 to accept the job at Oregon. He spent only one season where the team went 7-5 with Taggart. 

With this move, Taggart will be the first African-American coach in FAU history. 

Zachary Weinberger is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @ZachWeinberger.