Oregon hires South Florida’s Taggart as new coach
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.