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Florida State fires Willie Taggart; expect Mark Stoops to be on list of replacements

Stoops’ ties to FSU and the Sunshine State will make him an attractive target.

Florida State v Virginia Tech Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images

The Florida State Seminoles have fired head coach Willie Taggart.

News broke Sunday of Taggart’s dismissal following the Noles’ 27-10 home loss to Miami the previous day. He went 9-12 at FSU, and his firing comes less than two years after he was announced as the school’s 12th head coach.

To get fired midway through the season shows how bad things have gotten in Tallahassee. They’ll now begin a search for their next coach, and that will likely involve Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops.

Stoops, now in his seventh season in Lexington, was previously Florida State’s defensive coordinator from 2010-12. His defense was one of the best in the nation prior to his arrival in Lexington, and he a lot of ties to the Sunshine State. He has previous coaching stints at South Florida and Miami, and UK has been very active in recruiting from the state since he came to Kentucky.

But the real attraction is how far Stoops has taken a Kentucky program that went 2-10 prior to his arrival but is now on the verge of a fourth-straight bowl berth. He’s also won 14 of his last 21 games, including a 10-3 mark last year.

All of this is why Stoops will almost certainly be on Florida State’s list of coaching targets, but how high up he is or if he’s even interested in the job remain to be seen.

If nothing else, this could lead to Stoops getting another extension and/or pay raise at some point in the coming months.