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After the worst season in more than four decades, Florida State head coach Willie Taggart made a few significant coaching hires this offseason — all on offense. There was some reshuffling among returning staff members.
In our first installment of “Your Thoughts Thursday”, we asked our social media followers which of the three new additions would yield the biggest benefit for the Seminoles in 2019. The results were overwhelming as offensive coordinator Kendal Briles received 71 percent of the vote.
Offensive line coach Randy Clements was second with 23 percent of the vote and wide receivers Ron Dugans came in third with just 6 percent of the vote. Overall, 162 people voted in the poll.
The Daily Nole Poll: Which coaching addition for #FSU football will prove to be the most beneficial in 2019?
— The Daily Nole (@TheDailyNole) May 1, 2019
As I see it, the audience got it right. The Seminoles were abysmal last season on offense and Taggart had to make a bold move to change it. To his credit, Taggart has been willing to cede some of his power when it comes to control of the offense for the betterment of the program.
The hiring of Briles of course, wasn’t without a modicum of controversy. Briles, the son of former Baylor head coach Art Briles, was on staff at Baylor during a tenure that has since become tarnished by a sexual assault scandal. FSU will be the third school that has thoroughly vetted Briles and hired him since the allegations and there is no proof of any wrongdoing on his part.
As far as being an offensive mind goes, Briles’ record speaks for itself. In four years as an offensive coordinator, Briles’ offenses at Baylor, Florida Atlantic and most recently, Houston, have ranked first, sixth, ninth and seventh nationally as it pertains to yards per game. When it comes to points per game, Briles’ offenses have ranked first, 35th, eighth and fifth, respectively.
The most difficult job may lie with Randy Clements, who will try to fix one of the worst Power 5 position groups in the country. Clements may have the most important job on the staff this season, but he likely doesn’t transition from Houston to Tallahassee without Briles first making that move.
Former FSU wide receiver Ron Dugans was tabbed to coach the position he once played for the Seminoles. David Kelly did an admirable job with that position last season, but wasn’t supposed to be an on-field coach in 2018. While Dugans got the fewest votes to be the most beneficial new hire, he should provide a huge boost on the recruiting trail.