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Odell Haggins: The Man, the Myth, The Seminole Legend


Two weeks ago, Willie Taggart was fired after going 9-12 in his short tenure at Florida State. In fact, he was unceremoniously dumped by the Athletic Department and the boosters who raised $20M to get rid of Taggart prior to seasons end. Immediately, the rumor mill went into overdrive with candidates who might step up to the job at what will be the most hotly contested seat in the NCAA today. While that was all happening, one man and his team of coaches took breath, and turned his focus to Boston College: Odell Haggins.

Allow me to point this out very quickly: I have spent all of four months in the Florida capital. I learned that this town is gold and garnet, almost as much as Morgantown, West Virginia is blue and gold. A friend of mine who has lived down here virtually her entire life bleeding gold and garnet pointed out to me two years ago when Coach Haggins took over from Jimbo Fisher, everyone rallied behind Haggins.

Coach Odell Haggins is a man who bleeds gold and garnet more than almost anyone else. From what I have seen, and what you hear in the media, one could argue that the only two men who love FSU more are Mike Martin and Bobby Bowden.

The whole town of Tallahassee got around the man who went to Odell after Coach Fisher left for Texas A&M. Madison Social created Powerade mimosas to commemorate the now infamous slap from Haggins. For those who don’t know, a reporter in 2005 was drinking out of a Gatorade bottle. Haggins slapped the bottle away, and exclaimed that he needed to get a Powerade.

Proof Brewing Company, based out of Tallahassee, have a beautiful drink called the EightFive-O. At the bottom of their cans, they printed EightFive-Odell. The brewery teamed up with Madison Social to make EightFive-Odell shirts. The man was given a standing ovation prior to his coaches show this week, leading up to a game against Alabama State that would see FSU start their bowl streak again should they win.

This is a man who was an first team All-American defensive lineman playing for the Seminoles in the late 1980s. From 1985-2019, the Florida native has spent only three years away from the confines of Tallahassee. During those years, he played in the NFL. Haggins played under Bobby Bowden, to then come back and be a coach under Bowden for 16 years.

During the game against Boston College, you could tell that the Seminoles were living the fight song of the school. The football team wanted to “fight, fight, fight, for victory. The Seminoles of Florida State”. It was a drive that did not seem to be present for weeks past; one that was definitely not there the week before against Miami. The team dynamic was different, as offensive coordinator Kendall Briles was allowed to run his offense the way he wanted to. It resulted in a 38-31 win, away from home, in the freezing cold of the northeast that took the Noles one step closer to bowl eligibility.

Ex-players, coaches, fans and the media alike in Tallahassee were immediately filled with belief when it was announced that Coach Haggins was taking over for the rest of the season. After the win against Boston College, there has been even more belief flying high through Seminole country. There have even been calls from Danny Kanell for Haggins to be given an opportunity to be the head coach permanently.

Haggins knocked back that opportunity in 2017; he was offered the head coaching job before anyone else. He came out last week and said that he has not thought about taking the job once the season is over. With all the rumors running, including our earlier report that Bob Stoops was all but signed and sealed to be the next FSU coach, it seems like Haggins is not in consideration.

Tallahassee loves Odell Haggins. Odell Haggins loves Florida State. A player for four years, a coach for the past 26. Coach Odell Haggins is the definition of what it means to be a Florida State Seminole. He is a legend amongst legends, an FSU hall-of-famer. Odell Haggins is Florida State.

You got to fight, fight, fight for FSU!
You got to scalp ’em Seminoles!
You got to win, win, win, win this game and
Roll on down to make those goals!
For FSU is on the warpath now,
and at the battle’s end she’s great.
So fight, fight, fight for victory,
the Seminoles of Florida State!

Feature Image: USA Today

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