Former FSU players, coaches rallying behind interim head coach Odell Haggins

Former FSU players, coaches rallying behind interim head coach Odell Haggins

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Curt Weiler
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Tallahassee Democrat
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Published 9: (************************************) PM EST Nov 3, (*******************)
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(****)Ask anyone familiar with Florida State football history about Odell Haggins and they’ll recite a similar response.(*******)

(****)He’s a true Seminole.(*******)

(****)Outside of a three-year professional career in the early (***************************)s, Haggins has spent the last (********************************)-plus years in Tallahassee.(*******)

(****)He’s been on FSU’s coaching staff since (**************************) and will be called upon to take over as interim head coach for the second time in his coaching career for the remainder of FSU’s (*******************) season after head coach Willie Taggart was fired Sunday afternoon.(*******)

(****)”Odell is the definition of a Seminole,” former FSU linebacker Nick Moody posted on Twitter.(*******)

(****)”Happy as hell for him to get this opportunity.”(*******)

(****)Haggins played defensive tackle for the Seminoles from (****************************) through (***************************) and is now in his (*********************************)th season on FSU’s staff. He’s coached the defensive tackles for the majority of that time, was promoted to associate head coach in (**********************) and has coached the entire FSU defensive line this season.(*******)

(****)With things very much in turmoil around the FSU football program at the moment, Haggins’ return to the interim role may be just what the Seminoles need entering a crucial week for their chances to make a bowl.(*******)

(****)(*********)More from NoleSports.com(**********)(*******)

(****)(*********)More: (**********)How we got here: What brought about Willie Taggart’s downfall at Florida State(*******)

(****)(*********)More: (**********)Replacing Willie Taggart: Florida State football coaching hot board(*******)

(****)(*********)More: (**********)NoleSports Podcast: Willie Taggart fired, where does Florida State go from here?(*******)

(****)(*********)More: (**********)Former, current Florida State players react to Willie Taggart’s firing(*******)

(****)”You can’t change the system overnight, but I think he will get them playing as a team,” former FSU assistant coach Jim Gladden, who coached alongside Haggins from (**************************) through (************************), told the (***********)Democrat(************).(*******)

(****)”I think he will get them to play harder and make a commitment. He knows the formula for winning. He has been through it as a player and a coach here.”(*******)

(****)In (*********************), amid similar turmoil when Jimbo Fisher left FSU to accept the head coach position at Texas A&M, Haggins took over as the interim head coach. He led the Seminoles to a (*****************************)-(***********************************) win over ULM that extended their streak of bowl appearances to (*******************************) years.(*******)

(****)That streak ended with FSU’s 5-7 finish in (********************), but with a win at Boston College Saturday at noon and Alabama State still on the schedule, a win over the Eagles would almost definitely be enough to start a new FSU bowl streak.(*******)

(****)”I don’t think there is anybody better for the team right now at this point of the season than Coach Odell,” former FSU fullback Freddie Stevenson posted on his Twitter account.(*******)

(****)”He embodies everything you want to see at FSU. Really bleeds Garnet and Gold.”(*******)

(****)Come a few weeks from now, however the rest of FSU’s schedule plays out, Haggins is expected to leave the interim head coach role once again.(*******)

(****)In a landscape where FSU remains a highly sought-after position, Haggins — who will have five games of head coaching experience — is not widely regarded as a candidate for the full-time position.(*******)

(****)(*********)More: (**********)Willie Taggart releases statement after firing as Florida State head coach(*******)

(****)(*********)More: (**********)Time’s up for Taggart: Florida State football fires head coach Willie Taggart during second season(*******)

(****)(*********)More: (**********)Reaction: Bowden ‘really surprised’ by Taggart firing; Simmons says ‘I hate it for him'(*******)

(****)A few Seminoles have raised the question of why not Haggins. Former FSU defensive lineman Travis Johnson — one of the biggest defenders of Haggins — played defensive tackle for him from (*************************) through (***********************) before an NFL career.(*******)

(****)”I also wanna let y’all know who should be considered for the next permanent Head Coach? ODELL,” Johnson posted on his Twitter account.(*******)

(****)”Before you say no, lemme tell you why! He’s respected by all the kids and boosters and will hire the best assistant coaches in America, look at LSU and Coach O if you want an example.”(*******)

(****)Former FSU wide receiver Herb Gainer is in touch with the current FSU team through his son, redshirt freshman linebacker Amari Gainer. He expressed a similar sentiment when reflecting Sunday.(*******)

(****)”The players in house trust Odell. Boosters love him, fans love him, the media loves him,” Gainer told the (***********)Democrat(************).(*******)

(****)”Sometimes you go looking on the outside for something and the best thing you have is right in front of you. There is nobody better that you can trust the program with than Odell. He can right the ship.”(*******)

(****)(***********)You can reach Curt Weiler at cweiler@tallahassee.com.(************)(*******)

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