Florida Atlantic fires Willie Taggart after three seasons

Florida Atlantic fired coach Willie Taggart hours after the team finished the season at 5-7, the school announced Saturday.

FAU had a chance to get bowl eligible but fell 32-31 in overtime to Western Kentucky, which won on a two-point conversion.

"I'm disappointed that we lost and I hate that for our players," Taggart said after the game. "They played so hard and we had opportunities there and we didn't take advantage of it."

Taggart went 15-18 in three seasons at Florida Atlantic, reaching the Montgomery Bowl in 2020, his first season, before consecutive 5-7 campaigns. He previously served as coach at Florida State but was fired before the end of his second season. Taggart also coached Oregon, South Florida and Western Kentucky, his alma mater.

"It was a difficult decision, as we have tremendous respect for Willie Taggart," FAU athletic director Brian White said in a statement. "He has represented FAU with class and character. However, the lack of on-field success needed to be addressed as we look toward the future."

White said a national search for a new coach will begin immediately.

Taggart is 71-80 in 10 seasons as an FBS coach. Taggart took over at FAU from Lane Kiffin, who guided the Owls to Conference USA titles in 2017 and 2019 before leaving for Ole Miss.