The Daily Nole

Report: Offensive Coordinator Walt Bell Headed to UMass for Head Coach Position

Jeff Romance/FSU athletics

Florida State offensive coordinator Walt Bell will be hired as head coach at UMass, according to a report from The Athletic.

Bell spent one year at Florida State as offensive coordinator, in a season maligned by offensive productivity issues. Bell arrived as one of the most talked-about young coaches in the game, after propelling schools like Arkansas State and Maryland to respectable levels. He was considered one of the better hires by Willie Taggart and was expected to stay around for at least two years.

The departure was completely unexpected. While Bell had been discussed as a candidate for later promotions, he was not anticipated to become a head coach. UMass is taking a huge risk hiring him, but it could pay off in the future.

Interesting note from Football Scoop: Bell will be signed to a 5-year, $625,000 contract at UMass. He was making $700,000 per year at Florida State.

As for Florida State, Bell’s departure is going to be one of the biggest tests of Taggart’s young tenure. One of the crown jewels of the 2019 class is 4-star quarterback Sam Howell, who fits the Gulf Coast offense perfectly and is supposed to be the quarterback of the future. He is closely tied to Walt Bell and it has been said behind-the-scenes that Bell is the biggest reason he wants to come to Florida State.

That puts the whole situation in jeopardy. Howell has not de-committed yet, but it seems unlikely that he will stick with Florida State unless Taggart is able to work magic.

This also means that Florida State will be in the market for another offensive coordinator. Taggart will probably not make changes until after Early Signing Day, but candidate names will be released shortly.

We will have more updates on this story as they release.

Clint Eiland is the Lead Writer at The Daily Nole. You can follow him on Twitter @ClintEiland.

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