It was reported over the weekend that Oregon could have its opening at head coach filling by Tuesday. A day later than that timeline, it appears the Ducks are on the verge of doing just that.
According to a tweet from ESPN.com‘s Brett McMurphy, Willie Taggart of USF will be named as the next head football coach at Oregon. No timeframe for an announcement was given. FootballScoop.com subsequently confirmed the initial report.
The latter site added that Taggart was informed the job was his last night and that the coach wanted to let his Bulls players know today, presumably prior to an announcement being made.
USF’s Willie Taggart will be named Oregon’s coach, a source told @ESPN
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 7, 2016
We can add, Taggart was told last night that he was getting the job, wanted to let his players know today https://t.co/gnmOH78nk3
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 7, 2016
Taggart was interviewed by UO athletic director Rob Mullens in Dallas last Thursday. Tony Dungy, whose son played his football for both the Ducks and Taggart at USF, has publicly stumped for the coach to be hired by the Pac-12 program.
In his fourth season with the Bulls, Taggart has seen his win total increase every year, going from two in his first season in 2013 to four to eight to a 10-win season this year that has another game to go. It’s unlikely Taggart sees this season through, however.
Taggart has also been the head coach at Western Kentucky. After a 2-10 start, he guided the Hilltoppers to a pair of seven-win seasons before leaving for the Bulls.
In addition to Taggart, Boise State’s Bryan Harsin also reportedly interviewed for the Ducks job. The program reportedly offered the position to Matt Rhule, who left Temple after he was named the head coach at Baylor Tuesday.
With Oregon apparently closed, there are no current Power Five jobs open, which seemingly means that P.J. Fleck will be staying at Western Michigan for at least another season. Counting USF, there are currently eight Group of Six jobs that will need to be filled — Cincinnati, FAU, Georgia State, Houston, Nevada, San Jose State, Temple