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USF to introduce Taggart today

Willie Taggart AP

And it’s all over but the official pomp and circumstance.

Following up on reports from Friday evening, USF confirmed Saturday morning that Willie Taggart will be the Bulls’ next head football coach.  Taggart will be formally introduced at a 4 p.m. ET press conference today.

Taggart will be leaving his alma mater Western Kentucky to return to the state in which he played his high school football.

The 36-year-old has spent 11 of his 14 years as a coach at WKU, including the last three as head coach.  Taking over a Hilltoppers program that didn’t exist until 2007 and had won nine games in the three years prior to his arrival, Taggart won 14 the past two, with the Hilltoppers landing their first-ever bowl berth following the 2012 season.

Taggart’s only non-WKU coaching experience came at Stanford, where he was in charge of running backs under Jim Harbaugh from 2007-10.

In accepting the Bulls’ job, Taggart will be charged with revitalizing a program that had slipped from eight wins to five to three the past three seasons under Skip Holtz.

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9 Responses to “USF to introduce Taggart today”
  1. ericdinosaur says: Dec 8, 2012 9:02 AM

    A lateral move for a program that HAD so much promise. The reason Jim Leavitt had this team in better shape than Holtz did is that he treated it like a team in a BCS conference that had every chance to compete in recruiting, coaching and on the field. Then Holtz comes in and acts like he’s still coaching ECU by putting a subpar product on the field and treating the job like a stepping stone. USF has its advantages in recruiting because of the area but Holtz didn’t build on the progress made. If a name like Butch Davis or Petrino is attached to this job, you pounce, because in small sample sizes, you know it works.

  2. fatcamper says: Dec 8, 2012 9:20 AM

    @ericdinosaur
    I’ve seen you post the exact same comment twice now. It’s understandable you dislike the hire, but I disagree with you. Taggart was able to out recruit Skip when Skip had every advantage. USF isn’t a big-time program, but there should never have been a time where USF was losing recruits to WKU. High school coaches in the area like Taggart and were indifferent to Skip. If you look at the commits there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the programs, and that means either Skip was failing or Taggart was succeeding…take your pick.

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/wku/football/recruiting/commitments/2013

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/usf/football/recruiting/commitments/2013

  3. thegamecocker says: Dec 8, 2012 10:01 AM

    I think Willie Taggert will be a good coach for USF and he has earned the right for this step-up. Looking back though, Jim Leavitt should NEVER have been fired from this program! He was the architect, designer, and builder of USF football and too much was made of a small incident. Reminds me of how Coach Mike Leach was relieved of his position at Texas Tech! Coach Leavitt should be considered for the job at FIU if they have not hired anyone yet. He is a very good coach. But, best of luck to Coach Taggert in his new role.

  4. dvh1100 says: Dec 8, 2012 12:23 PM

    @thegamecocker

    You’re right, a coach who chokes a player should never be fired whatsoever, as long as they are winning, correct?

    Leavitt’s teams were not that disciplined, and made a tremendous amount of mental mistakes. Everyone seems to forget that. Could be that his players were to focused on getting choked instead of playing football? His teams also couldn’t win Confereance USA, or the Big East.

    I admit that I drank the Skip Holtz Kool-Aid, hopefully this hire works out.

  5. thegamecocker says: Dec 8, 2012 1:20 PM

    He only won more games and had his teams ranked during much of his tenure there. He didn’t deserve to be fired based on his overall body of work. Want to penalize a few paychecks and give him another chance, than fine. But there was no need to fire Coach Leavitt. BTW, I am also a Bobby Knight fan! He made men out of boys and I don’t care how he acted! He was and always will be a great coach and builder of men! It’s called discipline and society in general in this country is lacking that and religion in school as well. Just my POV. And no, choking ANYONE is not good. In this case, the kid could take it and probably learned a lesson. You want PC, visit your good buddy Donna Shalayla at Miami! They don’t choke there, they just violate the word called “INTEGRITY” as evidenced by their former AD Dee who slammed USC but didn’t live long enough to see what result his actions and those of Shalayla will be. She deserves to be FIRED!!

  6. dvh1100 says: Dec 8, 2012 2:33 PM

    Overrate is to rate or appraise to highly; overestimate according to Dictionary.com. Those top 25 rankings were not a true reflection of how good a coach Leavitt was. If so, how many times did USF end the season in the top 25? Great coaches do not allow a team to “shit the bed” when ranked going into a Thursday night game against a non-ranked opponent.

    USF would not be where it is today without Leavitt. There is no doubt about that; however, he could not take USF to the next level.

    Integrity must be a very important factor for USF, hence not retreading Butch Davis, Petrino, etc.

  7. thegamecocker says: Dec 8, 2012 2:38 PM

    My friend, I hope Coach Taggert does a great job. I think he was as good a hire as you can expect. On paper, it’s a super hire. But Leavitt should not be “black balled” the way it appears. Wonder how old he is anyway? Maybe he could go to Texas Tech! He would do well there. AP

  8. dvh1100 says: Dec 8, 2012 3:09 PM

    Maybe he could hire Mark Mangino as a coordinator.

    Not sure why he hasn’t thrown his name out there for some of the coaching vacancies. This is the United States of America people get 2nd and 3rd chances. I can’t imagine he wants to be a LB coach for the 49ers forever.

  9. orthomarine says: Dec 8, 2012 4:14 PM

    I feel much better about the hire. Apparently Tony Dungy vetted all of these candidates and approved Coach T.

    Thank you coach Dungy..

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