USF’s Willie Taggart One Of Three In The Running For Oregon Job

Taggart One Of Three Being Considered For Oregon

On Friday USF head coach Willie Taggart interviewed for the head coaching spot at the University of Oregon. Now sources close to Sports Talk Florida are saying Taggart is one of three in the running for the job.

Joining Taggart in the running are Western Michigan head coach P.J Fleck and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, current Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano.

Former Oregon head coach, Chip Kelly, who is now the head coach for the San Francisco 49er’s, is said to be considering returning to his old post with the Ducks.

Sources say the Ducks are expecting to have a coach within seven to 10 days.

USF’s Taggart Is Becoming A Hot Commodity

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 is 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.

In 2015 Taggart signed a reworked deal that is a five-year deal worth $9 million, which could keep him at the school through the 2020 season. Taggart is committed to the Bulls, but like any coach, checking out his options is something that he will want to do.

Photo: USF Athletics
Photo: USF Athletics

His buyout is very reasonable this year at $1.6 million, and no problem for Oregon who just fired Mark Helfrich, who has been fired after four seasons.

He was 37-16 as head coach of the Ducks, including 4-8 this season.

Meanwhile, Taggart became a top candidate for the job after USF completed their best season the 20-year history of the football program as Taggart has led the Bulls to a 10-2 regular season record in the American Athletic Conference.

Former Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Tony Dungy, a longtime fan of Taggart has spoken on his behalf in hopes of landing the Bulls coach a new spot at Oregon. Dungy spoke to ESPN about Taggart and why he would be a good fit for the PAC 12 high profile Oregon program.

“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.

Photo: USF Bulls

“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.”

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.