Florida State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Walt Bell is leaving FSU to become the head coach at the University of Massachusetts the University announced Monday night.

Bell arrived at FSU in January as the final member of FSU head coach Willie Taggart’s first coaching staff at FSU. 

He is leaving after just one season at FSU. 

“I am immensely excited for the opportunity to serve as the University of Massachusetts football head coach, and for my wife, Maria, and I to join the UMass family,” Bell told the University.

“I cannot thank Ryan Bamford, Chancellor Subbaswamy and the entire university administration enough for the opportunity to guide this program. I look forward to getting right to work with the young men on our team.”

Bell came to Tallahassee after working for two years as offensive coordinator position at Maryland. He has worked at Arkansas State, North Carolina, Southern Miss, Oklahoma State, and Memphis during his coaching career. 

He played college football at Memphis.

His first and only year at FSU was a struggle. Bell wasn’t brought in to call plays with Taggart calling plays for the Seminoles, but that changed with four games left in the season.

Bell took over playcalling duties in the Seminoles’ 47-28 loss to North Carolina State on Nov. 3 and kept those duties for the remainder of the season.

The Seminoles averaged 19.3 points per game and 5.4 yards per play with Bell as the play caller. Three of those games came against ranked teams with two coming against Top-10 opponents.


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At just 34 Bell will be the second youngest head football coach at the FBS level behind Kent State’s Sean Lewis (32).

Taggart was expected to make staff changes this season after the Seminoles’ 5-7 season, but Bell was not expected to be one of those changes.

Bell played a major role in the recruitment of four-star quarterback Sam Howell and was one of the main reasons he committed to FSU.

His commitment will be one to watch with the early signing period less that three weeks away. 

His departure was first reported by The Athletic.

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