Florida State is hiring Jim Leavitt as a quality control analyst, which was first reported by The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman and confirmed by the Osceola on Wednesday night.
Coach Willie Taggart and Leavitt were on the same staff together at Oregon in 2017. Taggart tried to bring Leavitt to FSU as defensive coordinator before Oregon won a bidding war. Leavitt stayed in Oregon in 2018 but has since been out of football this year.
That has quickly changed.
Leavitt visited Tallahassee in the spring for a practice and has long been the subject of social media chatter and reports that he may be coming to Tallahassee to help the Seminoles implement the 3-4 defense. Leavitt, the former USF head coach from 1997 through 2009, became infatuated with the 3-4 during a stint as assistant with the San Francisco 49ers when he worked for Jim Harbaugh from 2011-14.
After his stint with the 49ers, Leavitt was the defensive coordinator at Colorado where he was credited with turning the Buffaloes into Pac-12 contenders from 2015-2016. His defense became one of the best in the country before moving on to Oregon in 2017.
Leavitt would seem to be a perfect fit given the fact that FSU is running a multiple defense and he ran a 4-3 scheme during his time at USF, where he was responsible for building one of the fastest-growing programs in college football history.
He took the program from a Division I-AA (FCS) program in 1998 to the No. 2-ranked program in major college football in 2007.
Leavitt is a St. Petersburg native and was a standout defensive back at Missouri.