(WWSB) - The newe Head Football Coach for Florida State University was announced to Seminole fans Wednesday morning.
The newest edition to the team, Willie Taggart, is a hometown hero and native of Palmetto where he played football at Manatee High School back in the early 90's.
Chuck Sandberg who teaches physical education at Manatee High says he witnessed Taggart's athletic abilities first hand and knew from then on Taggart was destined for greatness.
“Yea you knew when he was in the huddle he was very confident and the players that played around him I think played better because of him. He didn't say a whole lot but because his leadership skills and example in the huddle it would just speak volumes for him”, says Sandberg.
That example is what landed the hometown hero back in his home state as the new Head Football Coach at Florida State University.
Bowen Summer who is the Booster Club President for Manatee High School says he grew up watching Taggart Play.
Summer says the Alumni Association for Manatee High inducted Coach Taggart into the school's Hall of Fame last month not knowing he was about to make a big transition back to Florida from the University of Oregon.
“I remember being in Gainesville at the 92 State Championship and just watching him and those group of guys and it kind of fed into my desire to play football at Manatee High School and now to see Coach Taggart to go on and excel not only as a player but not as a coach; as an alumni and as the Booster Club President for the football team I want our young kids to know what they can aspire to do”, says Summer.
One goal Taggart aspires to accomplish is to become the first African American coach to win a National Championship in College Football.
“Well if anyone can have any attributes of doing it, it's definitely Willie Taggart.
Maybe he'll come back to Manatee High School and recruit the area I know he has ties here”, says Sandberg.