Willie Taggart isn’t only winning over fans this offseason but also two of his biggest ACC coaching rivals as well.
The new Florida State coach is receiving universal praise for welcoming legend Bobby Bowden with open arms.
Bowden recently attended a Seminoles practice for the first time since he retired from coaching in 2009.
Bowden amassed 377 wins, two national titles and 12 ACC championships at the helm during his Florida State tenure.
Miami coach Mark Richt, who worked under Bowden at Florida State, applauded Taggart for respecting the man who put the ‘Noles on the map.
“We all know that Florida State wouldn’t be where they are without coach Bobby Bowden. He was the difference maker in a program that was struggling, quite frankly. He brought Florida State to national prominence, and the reason why they’re still there is the foundation he built,” Richt said to the Orlando Sentinel. “He should be back, and he should be around. I applaud Coach Taggart for doing that. It’s the right thing to do, and I’m glad to see it.”
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney added that the decision by Taggart demonstrates the wisdom of a secure man.
“I think that’s pretty smart — I don’t know why you would not,” Swinney said to the Orlando Sentinel. “When you think of Florida State, you’re always going to think of Bobby Bowden — forever. Just like when you think of Alabama, you think of Bear Bryant — and that’s always going to be the case. And certainly, Nick Saban has carved his own identity, but I promise you if coach [Bear] Bryant was alive today, Nick Saban has him over there.”
Florida State kicks off the 2018 season with a primetime home matchup vs. Virginia Tech on Sept. 3.