Willie Taggart was hired Friday as head coach at South Florida, facing the prospect of turning around a Bulls team that compiled an 8-16 record overall and a 2-12 mark in Big East play over the last two seasons. In Taggart, South Florida has a coach who fully believes he can bring a national title to Tampa. Via the Tampa Bay Times:
"I always said I wouldn't leave WKU unless I had a chance to go win a national championship. I truly believe that can get it done here," Taggart said in a room packed with family and friends from his hometown, Palmetto. "It wasn't too long ago where USF was No. 2 in the country. It's been proven we can get there. ... My vision for our football program is to win multiple championships in a first-class manner."
Taggart spent the last three seasons as head coach at Western Kentucky, his alma mater. After a rough 2-10 campaign in his first season, he led the Hilltoppers to back-to-back 7-5 regular seasons. This year, WKU knocked off SEC foe Kentucky and earned its first-ever bowl berth.
Just 36 years old, some may believe Taggart is too young to coach a BCS program, but USF president Judy Genshaft believes the Bulls and their new coach are a perfect match:
"We're a young institution that surprises people about how fast we can move and how much we can achieve. I see that in Coach Taggart. I think he's going to be very surprising."