Brianna Biancardi, Correspondent (@bribiancardiFS on Twitter)
TALLAHASSEE, Fl. – Florida State’s head football coach Willie Taggart held his first official pre-spring press conference this past Monday at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Taggart addressed the media and responded to questions regarding the program, team and upcoming spring practices.
Taggart initiated the conference with a shoutout to the men’s and women’s basketball team for their success, including the men who will now advance to Elite 8 on Saturday night against Michigan. Taggart continued to express his support for the Noles and finished his commencement by stating, “It’s good to be around winners.”
Taggart then referenced to Florida State football. By the look on his face and the sound in his voice, his excitement about the upcoming spring season, as well as his involvement within the program, was crystal clear.
“I’m ready to see them go through the next process of another spring ball, Coach Taggart said. “We’ve been in the wait room and now it’s time to go out and execute on the football field.”
Taggart also made a comment about the team’s appearance since December, stating that the team has gotten bigger and stronger.
Aside from the fact that Taggart is new to the program, it’s clear that he recognizes the importance of a relationship with his players no matter what the circumstance may be. Taggart was questioned during the press conference regarding the type of relationship he hopes to have with his players.
“I want to be like father-son. We go in and recruit these guys and take away from their parents and families and say we are going to take care of them. And that’s what we want to be able to do,” Taggart said. “[I] also want to be their coach, mentor and help those guys reach their dreams, goals and aspirations. You do that by holding them accountable and making sure they do the things that they want to do when they decided to come here. I know every last one of them wants to become a Florida State graduate and win a championship.”
It’s safe to say that a championship win with Taggart as head coach would be an achievement he yearns for, as well. Taggart points out that the biggest difference in taking over the program versus the other programs he has taken over in the past is that Florida State has won national championships.
The team’s first spring practice was held on Tuesday, March 20th. Taggart addressed the media on their decision to allow the public to attend the first two practices.
“I think with the momentum that’s going on, I think it’s fair to our fan base, allow them the opportunity to see the football team and see the guys as we go out for spring ball”, he also stated.
Taggart recognizes the potential in each of his players, as well as their ability to shine on this team. Later on throughout the press conference, Taggart was questioned on the lack of single digit jersey numbers on the spring football roster and continued by explaining that a single digit could not just simply be acquired, but had to be earned.
“If you want a single digit, you’ve got to be a dude,” Taggart said. “Being a dude is being the best football player you could be, being the best student you could be and having the best character you could have. I want to make sure that those guys in the single digits are handling business in all three areas and they are dudes.”
The team will continue to hold spring practices in preparation for the upcoming Garnet and Gold spring game on April 14th.