The coaching carousel is such a tangled, intertwined web. Case in point: Texas A&M.
With the firing of Kevin Sumlin, A&M is now in search of a head coach. Even prior to Sumlin’s dismissal, Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher was mentioned as a potential, or even likely, replacement. In the hopes of not getting caught with its search pants down, it was reported earlier today that, as assumed, FSU has already begun its due diligence on potential successors should Fisher bolt Tallahassee for College Station.
The only named mentioned in that vetting report? Oregon’s Willie Taggart. Coincidentally (or not), Andy Staples of SI.com is now reporting that Oregon has offered Taggart a new contract that would be worth in excess of $20 million as it looks to preemptively ward off FSU’s interest.
Taggart has deep ties to the state of Florida as he was born there and coached at USF for four seasons before taking the UO job last year.
In his first season with the Ducks, Taggart has them sitting at 7-5 coming off 4-8 2016 campaign. The improvement shouldn’t come as a surprise as he’s been a turnaround specialist wherever he’s been. Taggart took a Western Kentucky team that had won two games its previous two seasons to one that, after a two-win first year, won seven games in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons. South Florida was just 3-9 in 2012; after, again, a two-win first season and then four the second, the Bulls won eight games in 2015 and 11 in 2016.
The deep recruiting ties to the Sunshine State, obviously, would make him a very attractive target for FSU — and an expensive keep for the Ducks as just over $4 million annually likely won’t be enough to keep him from going home if he’s called.