The interim coach of the state of Florida, Odell Haggins, addressed the media after the victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
Wayne McGahee III / Democrat
FSU Interim Coach Odell Haggins is sprayed with Powerade after leading the Seminoles to a 42-10 victory against Louisiana Monroe at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday, December 1. , 2017. (Photo: Joe Rondone / Democrat) Buy photo
For most badistant soccer coaches, a job is just a job.
They are trying to climb the ladder. trying to be promoted. They try to add zeros to their bank accounts. They go from one program to another to try to find the right setting, to try to find the best situation.
Like most of us, they & # 39; I'm looking for the next opportunity. And nobody can blame them.
Odell Haggins is an exception, however. Because for Odell Haggins, the state of Florida is not a job. It is your life.
That's why he was the perfect choice to be the interim coach after Jimbo Fisher's game on Friday. And that's why Saturday's 42-10 victory was a wonderful and much-needed moment for the Florida State soccer program.
It felt like a cure.
For a moment, at least, nobody was thinking about the next millionaire who will lead this program. And nobody was thinking about the one who just left (on not so good terms with the fan base after a third consecutive year of complaints and rumors).
It was all about Odell. The guy who has been here for everything. He helped start the dynasty in 1987 as a player and won two national championships as an badistant in 1999 and 2013.
"This man has been here for so many years," said senior defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi. "This is practically his house."
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And on Saturday, it was a warm-up party for the house in a place that had not felt all that warm this season.
Haggins received a bath from Powerade (he does not dare to call him Gatorade) apart from his players. His name was sung by fans. He was applauded, aloud, every time he appeared on the video board. Especially when his part of the infamous "Seminole Rap" was played late in the fourth quarter.
He gave innumerable hugs walking out of the field. He dried his eyes several times. And it was not from the Powerade.
"I feel very honored," Haggins said at his post-game press conference. "I felt very honored when they came to me, I was here for 24 years (as an badistant), I never thought I would be in this situation, I never thought that"
More: Small but powerful: The crowd shows love for interim coach Odell Haggins
Haggins spoke to the media for 18 minutes. And he spoke from the heart. Especially about how proud he was of the players, who recovered from a 2-5 start to extend the bowl streak to 36 consecutive years.
He was asked if he had any interest in being named the permanent head coach.
At first, he refused to answer the question. Then he returned to the journalist and told him to ask the question again.
"Well, I'm going to tell you this, I want Mr. Wilcox, Mr. Thrasher, to hire the best person for it," Haggins said. "Get out of this, I'm not trying to get this job, the reason I say that, as a coach at Florida State, a former player at Florida State, I can impact lives.
" I hope the next coach keeps me. But to answer your question, I'm not complacent. God put you in certain situations for certain reasons. Someone has to do the field work. That's enough. "
We should all be so lucky to find something in our lives that we love as much as Odell Haggins loves football in the state of Florida Truly.
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That's why we must reiterate how good was the decision of the athletic director Stan Wilcox and President John Thrasher to elect Haggins as interim coach, only for the mental health of the team and the fan base.
There is no one to ask Haggins about his loyalty, and if someone did, well, an employee of the FSU would not feel the need to start the microphone and get the interrogator out of the room. Haggins would simply show his 1988 Fiesta Bowl ring. Or his 1999 national championship ring. Or the 2013 one.
Or, heck, he could recite his verses from "Seminole Rap," which was undoubtedly the biggest applause. of the day n that was shown on the video card.
"You know, let's clear this up," Haggins said with a smile. "Do you all realize that I have a twin brother? No, I'm just kidding." That was all fun, and to finish the game that way, the game, the kids were able to see that, that was great, I can be the joke.
"… That was great for the children to see it"
It's all Seminole, and he's also of the old school.
When Osceola and Renegade charged to the center of the field to plant the spear You may have noticed that the players were standing in the field, in the numbers, just like they used to on the day Haggins and the boys were starting a dynasty.
It was a subtle difference, but it was a change Haggins wanted to make
"He really bleeds garnet and gold," said FSU junior safety Derwin James.
Jimbo Fisher did a lot of good things in the state of Florida, and it's a big reason why Wilcox and Thrasher have a number of excellent candidates to choose from.
Thra Sher even received a call with words of encouragement from Lou Holtz.
Jordan Culver / Democrat
But during the last week, and honestly the last three years when the rumors started, Florida State fans have not felt much love from their head coach He always seemed to be looking for the next opportunity, and he always seemed to be unhappy with where he was and what he had.
On Saturday, all Florida State fans saw that he was a head coach who was completely, totally, 100 percent, madly in love with his school.
And they overwhelmed him with affection.
"Over the past 30 years, Florida State has won more games than anyone in the country," Haggins said. "We'll be back, that tells you about a family, it's a family, we have a solid foundation at Florida State University, it's not built on sand, I can say that."
While leaving the field on Saturday, Nnadi, his student for the past four years, met with the badistant for a long time.
The current defensive tackle hugged his coach, who was an All-American here three decades ago.
"Florida State is not going anywhere," Haggins told Nnadi.
And as long as the next head coach at Florida State makes any sense, neither is Odell Haggins.