Leavitt takes on expanded role as FSU assistant

From analyst to assistant coach.

Jim Leavitt has been elevated to a full-time assistant coach, interim head coach Odell Haggins announced on Tuesday. It’s not immediately clear what role Leavitt will have, if he will coach a specific position group.

Leavitt is able to take an on-field role for the final three games of the regular season after coach Willie Taggart was dismissed on Sunday. The NCAA allows teams to have 11 coaches, including the head coach.

In mid-September, Leavitt was hired by FSU as an analyst. He is under contract at $80,000 until Aug. 2020.

FSU also has two more analysts in George Henshaw (offense) and Stanford Samuels Jr. (defense).


  1. Jerry Gray Reply

    Good move let him run the defense for the next three games

  2. Dan Densmore Reply

    three years

  3. Patricia Crawford Reply

    Jerry, So excited to know there will be “Osceola” time, again. I was a member for many years while living in Jacksonville and read my Osceola, cover to cover on arrival by mail. In good times and in bad, your perspective made me feel better. I actually mentioned this publication on a forum last week. Looking for my Noles to bounce back. What say you?

    • Jerry Kutz Reply

      Welcome back to you too!
      Be sure to keep in touch letting us know what you want and we’ll try to deliver it.

      As for bouncing back…
      I felt really good FSU could beat BC until I learned this morning that Big Marv is out for the season. I figured FSU has been good at slowing one dimensional run offenses this year as BC lost their QB. I figured we’d see an unadulterated Briles offense which might put up early points. If Briles has success early, BC may struggle as they aren’t built to play from behind. But with Marvin out, Odell is going to have to play some young guys and all bets are off as to whether they can stop a good ground attack. You also lost a leader in Marv. I figured BC win number 5 and Bama State win number 6 and maybe we get a bowl bid and a chance for the new head coach 15 days to assess the players during bowl preparation. I haven’t given up hope but its tougher row to hoe now.

      My long term view is not lollypops and rainbows: FSU has not been FSU in a very long time. The head coach who takes this job needs to understand that. I hear about how talented we are but I don’t see it. Could the coaching be better? Yes. Could we help the players become more accountable? Yes. But there’s a lack of talent here too that we better get our head out of the sand and acknowledge or its never going to get better.

      Let’s take the offense for example. No doubt Akers is a talent. Both tight ends are talents. That is two positions out of 11 where we can agree we are talented. We can debate receivers. Yes, there are some guys like 7 and 15 who have speed or some other “talent” but dependability is an ability (a talent) and I don’t see it. Helton yes. But he’s out. Gavin was a 5* but has the receiving skills of a safety. You could say Lucas (55) has potential and I won’t debate you but right now he’s not there. None of our quarterback options are “talents” in the manner of any of the 1990s QBs.

      So of our 11 starters, I will say two are talented and I will give you as many as five are. Ever hear the expression: a chain is only as strong as its weakest link?
      We got six to nine weak links. So how does anyone say this is a talented offense?

      The defense isn’t especially talented either when you start by looking at our linebackers, who are very average on a good day. Poor evaluations since 2014 have left a void as gaping there as on the OL. You cannot be a talented defense when you don’t have talented linebackers. You just can’t. You can’t be considered a talented defense when your edge rushers can’t get to the quarterback let alone your noseguard. So without getting into a debate, I think we can all agree FSU’s defense has at least five weak links on D. How can anyone say a team is “loaded with talent” when at least 11 of your 22 starters aren’t talented?


      What’s the solution? The next head coach has his work cut out for him. He needs to establish rules AND ENFORCE THEM with his existing players. He must run off what he perceives as cancers in the program, whether in the locker room or in the coaches suite. Willie T did bring in some good players who will help some of the others pack their bags and get on up out a here. There are guys who want to be led and will respond to rules and consequences. They’ll smile when they see the slackers running.
      The second half of the remedy is in evaluation when recruiting new players and staff. Anyone can recruit. Not anyone can see into the heart of another person to see if they truly love the game and the school. We need to find the right players and the right people who surround them.
      And finally, we need to reset our standards in everything we do. It took Bobby a long time to get it to where it was during the Dynasty. The culture you see with Leonard Hamilton’s teams took a long time to build but every great journey begins with a single step.
      FSU needs to be honest with itself and its fans. It’s a journey not a sprint. If the next guy shows progress, FSU will be much more patient with him. But he has to show progress in those areas.

      Not happy thoughts. But fun and interesting. I’m looking forward to it.

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