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#pounditThursday, January 20, 2022

Articles tagged: Florida State Football

Report: Florida State on track to hire new coach by end of season

Florida State logo

The Florida State Seminoles are in the middle of a search for a new head football coach after firing Willie Taggart midseason, and they are on track to make a hire by the end of the season, according to a report.

The Athletic’s Tashan Reed reported on Friday that Florida State has held in-person interviews and is on track to make a hire by the end of the season.

Reed also suggests that current Seminoles coaches on staff are working to ensure their recruiting does not completely fall off since Taggart was fired.

Though Taggart was not having success on the field, his recruiting was always strong, so keeping the recruits committed is a big task.

In addition to their coaching pursuit, Florida State’s athletic director is soliciting more donations from boosters to help pay buyouts, and to fund new facilities and facility upgrades. They’re seeking $100 million. Taggart alone is owed a massive buyout due to how quickly he was fired — he was just in his second season as the team’s head coach.

Bob Stoops does not rule out return to college football

Bob Stoops has been heavily linked to the Florida State head coaching vacancy since Willie Taggart was fired earlier this month, and the latest remarks he made about potentially returning to the college ranks are only going to fuel those rumors.

Stoops, who stepped down as the head coach at Oklahoma in 2017, was asked during a radio interview on ESPN Central Texas this week about potentially returning to college football. He didn’t rule it out.

“Well you never know what the Lord is going to bring you,” Stoops said, as transcribed by Brendan Sonnone of 247Sports. “Everybody wants you to define your life at every age. At 50, they wanted me to know what I was going to do the rest of my life. And at 55, and now at 59 … who knows what I’ll be doing next year or the year after. You don’t know what you’re going to be doing next year. And the good Lord is the only one who knows.

“We’ll see where things end up for me.”

Stoops is currently under contract with the XFL as the coach and general manager of the Dallas Renegades. He has already denied that he is a candidate for the Florida State job, but people are not going to be convinced until the Seminoles hire someone else. If Stoops did decide to return to take another college head coaching job, he would be one of the highest-paid coaches in the game and could likely get out of his XFL deal without much trouble.

You can understand why Florida State would make Stoops its No. 1 target. He had a record of 190-48 in 18 seasons at Oklahoma and won a national championship in 2000. Stoops has been the subject of both NFL and college coaching rumors over the past several years, and the comments he made about that this week are a lot different from what he said two years ago.

Deion Sanders says he has not spoken to Florida State about head coach job

Deion Sanders

The rumor that Deion Sanders was a candidate to coach the Florida State Seminoles came as a surprise, and it seems Sanders himself may not be in on it.

Sanders told Clay Travis of Fox Sports that he had not been contacted by Florida State about the head coaching vacancy, suggesting that chatter about being a candidate was news to him.

Despite a total lack of coaching experience at this level, there has been a positive response from some to the Sanders talk. Does that factor into Florida State’s thinking at all? Probably not. Sanders is still a star and a household name who makes recruits perk up, which might be the point. However, it’s not a safe hire at all, and the Seminoles would probably be better off going with a more experienced hand. The fact that Sanders says he hasn’t been contacted indicated they might be doing just that.

LeBron James backs Deion Sanders for Florida State coaching job

LeBron James

Deion Sanders is apparently being considered as a potential candidate for the Florida State head coaching job, which is somewhat shocking given that he has no coaching experience at the college or pro level. But if LeBron James were the athletic director at FSU, Sanders might already be hired.

On Friday, LeBron tweeted his endorsement of Sanders for the job. He said he feels the Hall of Famer would be “PERFECT” for it and a fantastic recruiter.

Sanders would be a great buzz hire for Florida State and could definitely help with recruiting, but his lack of experience would make him a big risk for the Seminoles. Sanders also has some red flags surrounding him, as he was fired over an assault claim from his job as a coach at Prime Prep Academy, which is the school he founded. The school later closed due to financial mismanagement after Sanders had been fired a second time.

Sanders, 52, is currently an offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill high school in Cedar Hill, Texas, where his sons attend. He was supposedly in consideration for a job on Willie Taggart’s staff when Taggart was first hired, but he turned it down. Unfortunately for him, LeBron isn’t doing the hiring for the Seminoles. Sanders seems very unlikely to get the job.

Report: Deion Sanders a candidate for Florida State head coach job

Deion Sanders

Florida State is in the market for a new head football coach, and one report says they are considering their most famous football alumnus as a candidate.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported on Thursday night that Deion Sanders has emerged as a candidate for the Seminoles’ head coaching job.

This report is nothing short of shocking.

Although a superstar in every sense of the word, Sanders has no coaching experience at the college or pro level. The 52-year-old is an offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill high school in Cedar Hill, Texas, where his sons attend. He previously coached at Prime Prep Academy, the school he founded, but he was fired over an assault claim. The school later closed due to financial mismanagement, after Sanders had been fired a second time by the school.

Sanders was in consideration for a job on Willie Taggart’s staff after Taggart was first hired but turned it down.

After the disaster that Prime Prep Academy turned into, we can’t imagine anyone would turn over a major college football program to Sanders, even if he is famous and would generate buzz and help in recruiting. This feels like a report that either came from Sanders’ camp to help prop him up, or as some sort of test balloon from Florida State to see what public reaction to Deion as a candidate would be like.

Report: Bob Stoops not a candidate for Florida State job

Bob Stoops

A number of reports have indicated that Florida State is closing in on an agreement that would make Bob Stoops its next head football coach, but Seminoles fans may want to wait before they get too excited about the possibility.

Alison Posey of WTXL ABC 27 in Tallahassee reported on Monday night that Florida State is “really close” to a deal with Stoops and could announce the hire as early as the end of this week. However, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic has been given different information, with two sources close to Stoops telling him they are “skeptical” Stoops would take the FSU job.

A short while later, Feldman more confidently reported that Stoops is not a candidate for the Florida State job, though his brother Mark Stoops could be.

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit also spoke with Stoops, and Stoops told him he has not spoken to anyone at Florida State and is “not a candidate.”

Stoops announced earlier this year that he has accepted a job as general manager and head coach of the XFL’s Dallas franchise, though he could probably back out of that fairly easily if he decided to accept a high-profile college coaching position. Florida State would almost certainly be able to pay him significantly more than he will make in the XFL.

Stoops, who is now 59, enjoyed great success at Oklahoma before he stepped down following the 2016 season. He finished with a record of 190-48 in 18 seasons at Oklahoma and won a national championship in 2000. There was a time when he was the highest-paid coach in college football, and he has been the subject of both NFL and college coaching rumors over the past several years. Stoops said back in 2017 that he had no plans to return to the sideline.

Florida State fired Willie Taggart over the weekend after he spent less than two seasons with the team. We have already heard some big names linked to the job, and you can understand why FSU boosters would want Stoops. However, it does not sound like the interest is mutual.

Lane Kiffin denies reported interest in Florida State head coach job

Lane Kiffin FAU
Hours after he was reported as interested in the Florida State head coaching job, Lame Kiffin is denying that chatter and using it as a recruiting pitch.

Kiffin took to Twitter to reply to someone urging him to come to Seminoles, denying the rumor and focusing on winning a conference title.

Earlier reporting Monday suggested Kiffin wanted the job. Maybe he does and is denying it right now because there’s no indication that Florida State is interested. We may never find out. But Kiffin is a smooth operator and used it to urge people to come to Florida Atlantic. When you’re in the spotlight, might as well make the most of it. Kiffin has never failed to do just that.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops refusing to be drawn into Florida State speculation

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops’ name has popped up frequently as a speculative contender for the vacant Florida State head coaching job, but with key games looming, the coach isn’t going there.

Stoops said Monday that he had no interest in addressing the Florida State rumors, and his focus was entirely on the Wildcats’ upcoming game against Tennessee.

“It’s something that you don’t really want to address in season,” Stoops said, via Jon Hale of the Louisville Courier Journal. “I guess it’s better than the alternative. For us, for myself, it’s 100% concentration on Tennessee. That’s all I want, that’s all I want our team to focus on. That’s all you can do. I guess with success, you’re going to have some of that.”

This is basically the only thing Stoops can say at this stage. He was Florida State’s defensive coordinator from 2010 to 2012 under Jimbo Fisher, so he has natural ties to the university, and he’s shown the ability to turn around a program at Kentucky. Those are appealing resume points as the Seminoles look to replace the fired Willie Taggart. Stoops would be a solid option, and probably less risky than another high-profile name that apparently has interest in the position.

Report: Lane Kiffin interested in Florida State head coach job

Lane Kiffin

Look out, folks. Lane Kiffin wants back into the Power Five.

According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, Kiffin has expressed his interest in the Florida State job on the heels of Willie Taggart’s Sunday firing.

Of course, that interest has to be mutual, and for now, we don’t know that it is. Kiffin went 35-21 at Tennessee and USC, but he left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth with rocky departures from each job. He does know the state of Florida, as he’s taken over at Florida Atlantic and found some success.

That said, he’s Lane Kiffin, and he comes with a whole host of concerns about his demeanor and maturity. There’s a reason many athletic directors would shy away from hiring him. He’s also not exactly as successful as the top coach one report says the Seminoles want to target.

Willie Taggart owed massive buyout from Florida State after firing

Willie Taggart FSU

Florida State’s decision to fire Willie Taggart so early in his tenure is a costly one.

Taggart was owed nearly $18 million in his contract buyout, according to the Orlando Sentinel’s Matt Murschel.

Yahoo’s Pete Thamel says that if Taggart’s entire coaching staff is bought out at the end of the season, the entire cost to move on would be around $20 million.

If coaches on staff are able to find new jobs, their future salaries will offset against their buyout amounts, so it is possible that Florida State will not pay out that full $20 million amount. Regardless, between the cost to move on from Taggart and what it will take to hire someone new, the Seminoles made a very, very expensive decision.

Taggart was enjoying the team’s win over Syracuse last weekend because he knew how much his job was in danger. It turns out that was the last win he got to celebrate.