In a season of change at Florida State, one thing will remain the same: Odell Haggins is a Seminole. Haggins played at Florida State for Bobby Bowden from 1986-89, joined Bowden’s staff as offensive line and tight ends coach in 1994, switched to defensive line in ’96 and has remained there ever since, through the Jimbo Fisher era and now into the Willie Taggart era.
He has been formally retained as associate head coach and defensive line coach.
“Coach Haggins is Garnet and Gold through-and-through,” Taggart said in a statement. “He has done a remarkable job leading our team through the last game of the regular season and preparations for the Independence Bowl, and I have noticed how positively the student-athletes respond to him. He has an impressive resume of on-field results from his defensive linemen, but I’ve also been impressed with his ability to connect with our team on a personal level. He understands Florida State better than anyone, which will be a huge benefit to all of us as we implement our program at FSU.”
Haggins served as Florida State’s interim head coach for the Louisiana-Monroe game, a 42-10 win that, right or wrong, kept the Seminoles’ 35-year bowl streak alive. He will lead the club against Southern Miss in the Independence Bowl on Wednesday.
“I am a Seminole for life,” Haggins said. “I’m thankful to Coach Taggart for giving me the opportunity to remain at my alma mater and am excited to be at Florida State University. It has been an incredible blessing to coach at the school I played at and have been coaching at most of my life. Coach Taggart and I are on the same page with our focus on doing the best we can to be a mentor and a father figure to these student-athletes. Everything we do is to help guide them as they develop on and off the field.”
The move will put some money back in Fisher and/or Texas A&M’s pocket. Fisher’s Florida State buyout required him to pay off the remaining contracts of any assistant coaches not retained by the new head coach, and Haggins was on the books for $472,000 after this season, according to Warchant.