“Don’t be afraid to chase your dream.”
That was Willie Taggart’s opening declaration at a press conference Wednesday, as Florida State officially introduced him as its next head coach.
The 41-year-old ended days of speculation by jumping from Oregon after just one season, and Taggart made a point to emphasize that the decision wasn’t made lightly, according to Steve Mims of The Register Guard.
“It was the perfect situation, I was not going to leave it just for anything,” Taggart said. “My family loved it there, we had everything going the right way. But to be closer to my family and have the opportunity to win a national championship, my personal goal, it was tough to overcome. Things don’t always work out the way you want it to, but it is what it is.”
Taggart didn’t stop there regarding his feelings about Oregon, as he confirmed he spoke to both athletic director Rob Mullens and Phil Knight regarding his decision.
“Things were going really well there in every aspect, the people you meet and relationships you built,” Taggart said. “It is always tough when you have to end that. Being able to meet Phil Knight, he’s an icon and I was in awe when I first had the chance to meet him … Rob was an awesome athletic director, great to work for. He gave me my first opportunity to coach at a Power 5 school and I feel bad because I felt like I let him down and I know I did. I told him ‘Sorry.’ I told everyone there ‘Sorry, the timing is probably not right.'”
Seminoles athletic director Scott Wilcox told reporters he “knew we found our man,” after Taggart said Florida State was his dream job, and as far as Taggart is concerned, he feels he’s exactly where he should be.
“It is pretty amazing how life can put you in places where you need to be and the different ways of getting there,” Taggart said. “All those years I wanted to be a Nole and supported the Noles, I never gave up on it. Now I’m the head football coach of the Florida State Seminoles. Talk about chasing the dream, I always wanted to be part of it and I can officially say I’m in now.”
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Source: The Score