Willie Taggart comes clean on the origin of ‘Do Something’

FSU coach Willie Taggart speaks in front of a backdrop featuring 'Do Something,' one of his favorite phrases.  (AP Photo/Joe Reedy) RPJR101
FSU coach Willie Taggart speaks in front of a backdrop featuring 'Do Something,' one of his favorite phrases. (AP Photo/Joe Reedy) RPJR101
Published June 12
Updated June 12

During his question-and-answer session with more than 500 Manatee-Sarasota boosters Monday evening, FSU's Willie Taggart was peppered with the normal inquiries about recruiting, offensive scheme and the Seminoles' quarterback derby.

All well and good. But lodged in the collective subconsciousness of the audience was a more pressing question, the answer to which had stumped Taggart suppporters for years.

Finally, a fan mustered the nerve to stand and ask it.

Where did "Do Something" come from?

Taggart, who has become synonymous with that two-word axiom (among other Taggart-isms), obliged with an answer.

The phrase's originator, he said, was former Manatee High strong safety Demetrios Murray, a teammate on the Hurricanes' 1992 state title squad.

"That's all he said. If he was trying to court a female, he would tell 'em to do something," Taggart said, eliciting a roar from the standing-room-only audience inside the Mertz Theatre.

"He said it so much, it was something that always stuck out to me. … The thing about it, we live in a do-something world. In order to get something, you've got to do something."

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Taggart, of course, is well known for his catchphrases, but most of them ("Have a great day if you want to," or "Attack the day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind") he has attributed to Jack Harbaugh, his coach at Western Kentucky.

But the source of "Do Something" was more of a mystery — until Monday.

"I just look at myself, my journey, I never blamed anyone," Taggart said. "I never made any excuses for me not being successful. I just worked my tail off, and I try to instill that in our players as well, because they're all capable.

"So that's been my motto my entire life: Blame no one, make no excuses. You've gotta do something."

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