Bowden On Taggart Firing: I Didn't Think They'd Do It Now

Tommy Bowden likes Taggart as a person, but the FSU writing was on the wall...

Taz and the Moose
November 08, 2019 - 10:38 am
Willie Taggart FSU

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Most college coaches get at least three or four years to build a program in their likeness. Willie Taggart wasn’t as fortunate.

The 43-year-old was fired 21 games into his Tallahassee tenure, exiting with a 9-12 record.

Did FSU pull the plug too early? Could Taggart have ultimately returned the Seminoles to glory?

“I think were some signs that indicated it was not going to head in that direction,” ACC Network analyst Tommy Bowden said on Taz & The Moose. “The Bowden family are really fond of Willie Taggart because of the way he treated my father and tried to bring him back into the fold. He went over to the house more than once, tried to get him out to practice. But at Oregon, No. 1 penalized team in the nation. He goes to Florida State, your first year, you’re the No. 1 penalized team in the nation. Miami game, you have a bunch of penalties. Last year, tackles for losses, they led the nation. This year, they’re leading the nation or close to it in tackles for losses allowed. 

“That’s got nothing to do with culture,” Bowden continued. “That’s got nothing to do with how Jimbo left it. That’s got nothing to do with talent level. That’s putting a hat on a hat. Penalties followed him. That wasn’t good. And then the tackles for losses and performance on defense and losing to teams where you had better talent – things aren’t looking good, unfortunately, after a year-and-a-half. I thought it might have been done end of season; I didn’t think they would do it now.”

FSU is 16-18 since 2017. Still, Bowden maintains it’s a desirable job, mainly because of its location.

“The talent in the state of Florida is unbelievable,” he said. “They’ve proven they’ve done it. They’ve achieved a high level of success over a long period of time. There’s got to be some intangibles that make you capable of doing that. My father was a big part of it, but Jimbo said, ‘Hey, I can go in there and do the same thing.’ So if you get the right guy, it is a great job. They’ve got the second-best talent in the ACC right now behind Clemson. Everybody is behind Clemson. But it’s surely enough to go in there, if it’s the right guy, and have immediate success and get that recruiting going back like it has in the past.”