FSU coach Willie Taggart spoke about the early signing period class.
Wayne McGahee III, Tallahassee Democrat
Florida State’s search for an offensive coordinator should be coming to an end soon according to coach Willie Taggart.
Former FSU offensive coordinator Walt Bell left the position on Dec. 3 to become the head coach at UMass after coaching at FSU for less than 11 months.
When Taggart hired Bell he didn’t have a lot of time to get a feel for the FSU program. He hadn’t coached the players yet and didn’t know the program as well as he does now.
Bell had never worked with Taggart prior to his hire, and he didn’t mesh with Taggart as well as was needed for that pairing to be successful.
“I do think having now having a year here, I understand what that fit is for our guys,” Taggart said.
“I understand our players more and I understand our university a lot better.”
Finding the right coach to fit the program has become priority number one for Taggart.
The Seminoles have closed in on Houston offensive coordinator Kendal Briles as the primary target according to sources within the program, but no deal has been announced yet.
“I think we’re close when it comes to our offensive coordinator and you guys will hear about that,” Taggart said.
“We’ll let you all know about that as soon as we’re done and moving right along. And feel good about where we’re at with it.”
Bell was the offensive coordinator in name only for most of his short tenure with Taggart calling plays and running the offense for most of the season.
Taggart relinquished those duties over the final four games of the season to Bell and is looking to bring in someone that can call plays next season.
The FSU offense didn’t perform at the level it needed to during the 2019 season, regardless of which coach was calling the plays.
The Seminoles averaged just 21.9 points per game (114th nationally) and 5.12 yards per play (110th nationally). They also had the second worst rushing attack in college football averaging just 2.79 yards per carry.
Taggart has to find someone that can get the most out of the offensive players while dealing with the many issues facing the offense, including a porous offensive line that was among the worst in college football.
FSU has taken its time with the offensive coordinator search, which has gone on for 17 days so far, but getting the hire right is more important than making a hire quickly.
“I try to find the right fit for our players and our staff,” Taggart said.
“That’s probably the most important thing. There’s a lot of football coaches out there and there’s a lot of them that want to be here that knows football. And it’s important that we get the right fit and the right fit for our guys.”