Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Florida State Seminoles

Reports: Jim Leavitt to reunite with Willie Taggart at FSU

The former USF coach is joining the Seminoles staff as a defensive analyst.
Former USF coach Jim Leavitt, seen here during his days as Colorado defensive coordinator, is headed back to Florida. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)
Published Sep. 12
Updated Sep. 12

Former USF coach Jim Leavitt, who served as Willie Taggart’s defensive coordinator in his lone season at Oregon, reportedly will join Taggart’s Florida State staff as a quality control analyst.

Leavitt, 62, will assist Seminoles defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett with game-planning, which was first reported Wednesday by The Athletic, then other media outlets.

Leavitt left Colorado after two highly successful seasons as its defensive coordinator to join Taggart’s staff in Eugene in December 2016. The Ducks, who allowed 41.4 points a game the season before Leavitt’s arrival, surrendered an average of 29 points in 2017.

Leavitt remained in Eugene when Mario Cristobal was picked to replace Taggart after the season and watched his 2018 unit allow only 25.4 points a game. Leavitt and the school mutually agreed to part ways after that season, with the former USF head coach (1997-2009) reportedly getting a maximum $2.5 million payment as part of the agreement.

In Tallahassee, he’s expected to help Barnett gradually transition from a 4-3 alignment to a 3-4 scheme featuring hybrid linebackers. FSU enters Saturday’s game at Virginia ranked 124th in Division I-A in total defense (520 yards per game).

In their first two games, the Seminoles have allowed 26 points in the first half and 27 in the fourth quarter.


Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins shouts direction in a game against Alabama State last weekend in Tallahassee. Florida State won 49-12. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    Joey Knight and Matt Baker debate the candidacy of longtime Seminoles assistant Odell Haggins.
  2. Florida State head coach Willie Taggart leaves after the loss to on Nov. 2 in Tallahassee. Florida fired Taggart the next day. PHIL SEARS  |  AP
    The lesson from the Willie Taggart debacle isn’t to avoid golden parachutes. It’s to learn how to make the exits happen.
  3. Florida State Seminoles running back Cam Akers (3) runs the ball down the field in the second quarter against the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium at Florida State University in Tallahassee on Saturday, November 24, 2018. BRONTE WITTPENN  | TIMES  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES
    How healthy will Cam Akers be? What about Jabari Zuniga?
  4. Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins celebrates his team's 49-12 victory over Alabama State in Tallahassee. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    It was hard to ignore the love for the Seminoles’ interim coach after Saturday’s win.
  5. Florida State defensive back Hamsah Nasirildeen tackles Alabama State wide receiver Tyrek Allen in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Tallahassee. Florida State defeated Alabama State 49-12. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    The Seminoles rout the Hornets on senior day.
  6. Former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops stands on the field watching the celebration after Oklahoma's win in the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game against TCU on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) TONY GUTIERREZ  |  AP
    Mike Norvell and Matt Campbell are among the names you’ll keep hearing in connection with the Seminoles’ search.
  7. Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins is doused after his team beat Boston College last weekend on the road. BILL SIKES  |  AP
    Plus some growth at USF and some stunning, scary stats on Florida’s opponent, Missouri.
  8. A Florida Gator fans yells during the first half of the Nov. 2 game against Georgia in Jacksonville. The Gators travel to Columbia, Mo. for a noon Saturday game against Missouri. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Here are our picks for this week’s top college football games, including Florida-Missouri, USF-Cincinnati and Florida State-Alabama State.
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon III Hargreaves kneels in the end zone after the Seattle Seahawks defeated his team in overtime in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer) JOHN FROSCHAUER  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: It’s a mailbag episode, with answers on Jameis Winston’s future, Lavonte David’s season, Mike Evans’ plight, Kevin Cash’s third-place finish and Charlie Strong’s job...
  10. Florida State head coach Willie Taggart, right, disagrees with the referee in the first half of his final game with the Seminoles, Nov. 2 against Miami in Tallahassee. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    There are reasons to think quick hooks and mid-season dismissals are the new norm.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement