OREGON HIRES TAGGART AS NEXT FOOT­BALL COACH

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

eu­gene, ore.» Oregon hired Wil­lie Taggart, who spent the last four sea­sons as head coach at South Florida, to take over the Ducks fol­low­ing the dis­missal of Mark Hel­frich.

Oregon for­mally an­nounced Taggart’s ap­point­ment Wed­nes­day.

Taggart has led USF to an 18-7 record over the last two sea­sons, in­clud­ing a 10-2 mark this year. He also spent three sea­sons as coach of Western Kentucky, his alma mater, and was an as­sis­tant coach at Stan­ford un­der Jim Har­baugh.

Oregon fired Hel­frich last week af­ter the Ducks went 4-8.

“Oregon has a strong na­tional pres­ence and a proud re­cent his­tory of play­ing among the na­tion’s elite, and I look for­ward to the chal­lenge of up­hold­ing the ex­cel­lence,” Taggart said in a state­ment.

Taggart, 40, is the first coach Oregon has hired from out­side the pro­gram since 1976. The Ducks’ pre­vi­ous three coaches, Mike Bel­lotti, Chip Kelly and Hel­frich, were all as­sis­tants who were pro­moted.

Taggart will be the first black head foot­ball coach at Oregon. The length and terms of his con­tract were not im­me­di­ately re­leased.

• South Florida co-of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor T.J. Weist will serve as in­terim coach the rest of the sea­son, which con­cludes with a Dec. 29 matchup against South Carolina in the Birm­ing­ham Bowl, af­ter Taggart’s de­par­ture to Oregon.

• Alabama red­shirt sopho­more quar­ter­back David Corn­well an­nounced in a Twit­ter post that he is trans­fer­ring. Red­shirt fresh­man Blake Bar­nett left the pro­gram early in the sea­son af­ter fresh­man Jalen Hurts won the start­ing job. Cooper Bate­man is the backup.

For­mer Nicaraguan soc­cer head pleads guilty B new york» Julio Rocha, the for­mer head of the Nicaraguan soc­cer fed­er­a­tion from 19982012, pleaded guilty to rack­e­teer­ing con­spir­acy and wire fraud con­spir­acy in fed­eral court. The case is part of a sprawl­ing pros­e­cu­tion that trig­gered tur­moil at FIFA, the gov­ern­ing body of in­ter­na­tional soc­cer.

Au­thor­i­ties say Rocha ne­go­ti­ated and ac­cepted bribes to­tal­ing more than $150,000 linked to the sale of mar­ket­ing rights.

Rocha was a FIFA de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer at the time of his ar­rest in May 2015 and faces a max­i­mum sen­tence of 20 years in prison for each count. He also has agreed to for­feit nearly $300,000.

• Ref­er­ees will be al­lowed to get help from video re­plays at the Club World Cup in Ja­pan in the first full live in-game trial of the tech­nol­ogy that could trans­form soc­cer.

Ref­er­ees could halt games to re­view footage of “game-chang­ing de­ci­sions” on pitch-side mon­i­tors or just rely on in­for­ma­tion be­ing fed by Video As­sis­tant Ref­er­ees (VARs) watch­ing broad­cast feeds, of­fi­cials said.

Five coaches to get in­ducted. The Colorado High School Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion an­nounced five to its 54th Hall of Fame class, to be in­ducted March 25 at the Radis­son Ho­tel Den­ver South­east in Aurora.

T.R. El­lis, a vol­ley­ball coach who com­piled a record of 467-288 at Olathe, Dou­glas County and Cha­parral, won state cham­pi­onships at Cha­parral in 2010 and 2011.

Greg Fruh­wirth coached girls basketball at Fowler, fin­ish­ing with a 407-84 record and win­ning state ti­tles in 1989, 1993 and 1999.

Randy Hodg­son coached vol­ley­ball and basketball at North Park.

Tony Man­fredi was the foot­ball coach at Over­land for 29 years, fin­ish­ing 172-88 and win­ning the state ti­tle in 1993.

Alan Ver­saw won 10 con­sec­u­tive girls cross coun­try state ti­tles at The Clas­si­cal Academy from 2003-2012. The boys won five times in that span.

Foot­notes. Ronell McNeal Jr., who went to Prairie View High School in Hen­der­son and played foot­ball at CSU-Pue­blo from 2011-15, died Mon­day at age 24. Ser­vice and me­mo­rial in­for­ma­tion were not yet avail­able.

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