USF’s Willie Taggart Candidate For The Oregon Coaching Job

A Year After An Extension Deal, Taggart Is Being Considered At Other Colleges

The coaching carousel has begun to spin and multiple reports from a number of media outlets have University of South Florida head coach Willie Taggart as a top contender for the job at the high profile University of Oregon.  The Oregonian newspaper reported that the Bulls head coach met Friday with the Ducks Athletic Director Rob Mullens in the Dallas.

These reports come just one year after Taggart signed a five-year extensions worth $9 million with USF. The extension would keep Taggart at the school through the 2020 season. Though committed to the Bulls, Taggart is exploring his options.

In fact, former Tamp Bay Buccaneers head coach, Tony Dungy, spoke in behalf of Taggart to ESPN.

“I certainly think he’s a good fit,” Dungy told ESPN. “I had a chance to watch him coach a year when my son played there (after transferring from Oregon). I liked his style. I think he’s a guy that can relate to the players very well.”

Taggart and the Bulls are coming off of the 20-year-old program’s best season in history. After going 10-2 on the regular season, Taggart become a top candidate for the Oregon job.

Photo: USF Athletics
Photo: USF Athletics

“He’s put together two winning programs (at Western Kentucky and USF). He knows the West Coast, having been at Stanford (as an assistant from 2007-09). He has all the elements Oregon is looking for. … Oregon is a great job and hopefully he gets it. If not, we’re happy to still have him in Tampa,” said Dungy.

Taggart’s buyout is very reasonable this year at $1.6 million, and certainly no problem for Oregon since firing Mark Helfrich.

Meanwhile, Oregon also spoke with Boise State’s Bryan Harsin, another one of the country’s hottest young coaches. The Ducks are expected to speak with a few more candidates that could include current Florida head coach Jim McElwain, former Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Greg Schiano, who is now the defensive coordinator at Ohio State, Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck, and Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who played quarterback at Oregon.

additional reporting by Allison Leslie

Read the full story on Sports Talk Florida.

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.