Haggins takes time to thank former FSU coaches

Odell Haggins says his voice mail fills up too fast. He can’t keep up.

The Florida State interim head coach listens to the messages. Then he goes about his day. The voice mail fills up again. 

But Haggins, who played at FSU as a linebacker and nose tackle from 1985-89, also took time to make some phone calls on Monday.

“I called coach (Bobby) Bowden this morning, I called Mickey Andrews, coach (Jim) Gladden and coach (Wally) Burnham,” Haggins said. “I said, ‘Thank you all very much.’ They said, ‘Dell, why? You did that.’ I said, ‘No. You all did it the Florida State way. I learned a lot from you all.’ What you all see in me now, that’s what I learned from a lot of you all and my mother. They instilled integrity in us and character and never quit.”

Haggins is 3-0 in his second time as FSU’s interim head coach. The Seminoles are coming off a 38-31 win at Boston College and now prepare for FCS Alabama State on Saturday at noon.

It’s because of coaches like Bowden, Andrews and others who have built the foundation for who Haggins is and how he coaches, he said.

“That’s why I’m able to stand up here now and talk being an interim head coach because of (them),” Haggins said.

Special visitor

Not having defensive tackle Marvin Wilson against BC was a huge loss. Wilson did not make the trip, but he was at the Moore Athletic Center on Saturday night when the Seminoles stepped off the bus after a flight back from Boston.

“As his coach, position coach, it brought tears to my eyes,” Haggins said. “Just think about this. You are an adult. You want your best player on your team he can’t play, he wants to be there, he’s sacrificing, ‘Coach, I’ll wrap it up and I’ll play this game make sure we get bowl-eligible. 

“That speaks a lot. He’s a big-time leader. Great kid. I love him.”

Keeping up with recruits

FSU’s signing class ranks 18th in the nation, a group that is holding together for the time being and likely waiting to see who is hired as the permanent head coach. The Seminoles lost a few prospects in running back Jaylan Knighton, safeties Jalen Harrell and Derek Bermudez and cornerback Isaiah Dunson.

Haggins said that the staff has been active in communicating with the 2020 commitments.

“We’re calling and we’re texting them every day,” Haggins said. “And the best way to handle recruiting, this coach thinks so, is keep winning and letting them know that we’re going back to the Florida State way. Of course, we are going to have some de-commitments. But the kids, they want to see what’s going on. … A lot of families, that’s what they want to see, they want to see a plan in recruiting.”

McKitty makes late appearance

Tre’ McKitty (ankle) was a game-time decision and didn’t play until the on-side kick at the end of the game. McKitty was on the hands team that recovered the ball in the final seconds.

Giving thanks

Haggins opened his press conference with the media by thanking the members of the military for their service as we celebrate Veterans’ Day.

ACC players of the week

Receiver Tamorrion Terry set career highs in receptions (seven) and receiving yards (156) in FSU’s 38-31 win over Boston College. Terry was named the ACC’s receiver of the week. His six catches of at least 60 yards or more over the last two years is the most in the nation.

Hamsah Nasirildeen was named the ACC’s defensive back of the week for the second time in three weeks. Nasirildeen had 22 tackles in FSU’s win at Boston College, the most by a Seminole in 50 years.

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  1. peter mettler

    I think it is time to honor odell ( not to take away from any other coaches or players) with something bearing his name or likeness.


    Make an exception… retire his playing jersey (but wait until he retires)

  3. Jerry Kutz

    Are you referring to Odell’s jersey?
    The new way we do it is to retire the jersey but not the number, that way the number 53 can be worn by future Noles. That will make Paul Piurowski, who was Odell’s boyhood hero, very proud. Paul can tell all his buddies from the 1980 team, its in honor of him. Ha!
    Sidebar: In an interview with Odell during the recruiting process, I asked him how he got interested in FSU. He told me when he was young he used to get up on Sunday morning to watch the Bobby Bowden show. In addition to listening to Coach Bowden, he particularly liked No. 53 Paul Piurowski and the horse and rider. You figure Odell graduated high school in 1985 and Piurowski’s played 1977-1980, so Odell would have been 10-13 years old – formative years – while watching the show.

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