Former Oregon coach Willie Taggart said leaving Eugene was one of the toughest things he's ever had to do and Florida State was the only job that triggered his interest during his stint with the Ducks.

Taggart appeared live in the booth during Wednesday's Independence Bowl broadcast featuring Southern Miss against his new team.

"It was really tough (because) Rob Mullen gave me an opportunity to go to Oregon and be a Power 5 coach and everything was on the up and up," Taggart said. "We were recruiting well. Got the program back winning. Made great relationships with our alumni and boosters. And most importantly our players.

"It was really tough because those young men bought in to everything we did there. We were committed to everything we did there, so it was really tough making that decision, but it was one of those things, like you say, a dream job. It was tough from that standpoint."

When Taggart's preferred blueblood came calling, the decision was already made, he says.

"Florida State has always been that dream job for me," Taggart said. "As a kid I always wanted to play at Florida State. I wasn’t good enough. I wish coach Bowden would've recruited me there. It's been that dream job. Something been working really hard to get to … dream job. Not in a million years did I think it would happen right now. This was the only job I would’ve left Eugene for.

"Had a great thing going there. Great people, great administration and that relationship with Phil Knight was big time."