Oregon hires South Florida’s Taggart as new coach

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS -

Wil­lie Taggart has be­come known for re­build­ing pro­grams at Western Kentucky and South Florida. His next en­deavor will be much more high pro­file, try­ing to turn around the strug­gling Oregon Ducks.

Oregon an­nounced Wed­nes­day that it had hired Taggart to take over fol­low­ing a dis­ap­point­ing 4-8 sea­son and the dis­missal of coach Mark Hel­frich.

Taggart has been coach at USF for the past four sea­sons, guid­ing the team from a 2-10 record his first year to a 10-2 mark this year and a spot in the Birm­ing­ham Bowl.

Be­fore he ar­rived in Tampa he spent three sea­sons at his alma mater, Western Kentucky, in­her­it­ing a win­less pro­gram that he turned around with back-to-back win­ning sea­sons.

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

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