Since joining the South Florida Bulls Coach Taggart has focused on two vital tasks: solid media appearances & getting after in-state recruits. After reviewing numerous articles & videos from various sources, I created the following post & mixed the video as a highlight reel for Coach T’s arrival to Tampa. I’ve also added the audio from the interview CWT did with CBS 98.7 The Fan.
Enjoy! There’s a lot to look forward to as South Florida Bulls.
~ Matthew Manuri
USF’s Willie Taggart Out to Reverse Bulls’ Fortunes
“With the new playoff coming, it’s not about what league you’re in,” the new South Florida coach said. “If you can finish in the top four, you can play for a championship. Look at Notre Dame. They’re not even in a conference. They’re not settling.”
Taggart doesn’t care. He’s accustomed to hearing about what can’t be done. No one thought Western Kentucky would post winning seasons in the FBS so quickly. When Taggart and the rest of Harbaugh’s staff arrived in Palo Alto in 2007, people laughed at the notion that they could turn Stanford into one of the nation’s elite programs. So while Taggart understands Florida, Florida State and Miami will beat him for recruits, he can use the evaluation skills he honed at Western Kentucky and Stanford to find the players those schools missed. “We’re going to do it our way,” Taggart said. “Sometimes you’ve got to go into the woods and find those guys nobody knows about.”
Via Andy Staples, SI.com
Willie Taggart, Matt Rhule or Tommy Tuberville: Who is the Big East’s Best Hire?
“Willie Taggart might have the most upside, however. He should recruit extremely well in Florida and should be able develop talent. He took a struggling program and led to them to their first winning seasons in the FBS and its first-ever bowl game.”
Braden Gall, AthlonSports.com
“However, South Florida’s move to hire Willie Taggart is the best out of the trio and could rank as the No. 1 hire in college football once all of dust settles from the 2012 coaching carousel. Considering he played high school ball about an hour outside of Tampa and recruited Florida hard during his time at Western Kentucky, Taggart is a perfect fit at USF. The Bulls struggled to reach expectations over the last few seasons, and Taggart is going to bring some much-needed toughness on both sides of the ball. Taggart inherited a difficult situation at Western Kentucky and led the Hilltoppers to a 14-10 mark over the last two years. It may take some time for South Florida’s new coach to restock the roster, but the Bulls could push for a winning record next year.”
Steven Lassan, AthlonSports.com
“That’s why I’ll go with South Florida enticing Taggart to leave Western Kentucky, where he did a fine job rebuilding the Hilltoppers’ program and leaving them in a position for more success in the future, to take over a Bulls program in disarray. Despite the recent turmoil and upheaval, the Big East is still a BCS conference, which means the rewards that will come with success at South Florida will be far greater than they would ever have been at Western Kentucky. Couple that with the fact that Taggart now has the fertile recruiting ground of the Sunshine State to assist him in that goal. In the current state that is college football, there’s no guarantee any coach will stick around long enough at a so-called “non-major” school to enjoy a period of sustained success. But for the time being, with Taggart leading the way, South Florida seems well-positioned for success in the very near future, and that’s what matters most as far as the present is concerned.”
Mark Ross, AthlonSports.com
“But make no mistake about it: Taggart will primarily focus on the Tampa Bay area from Hillsborough County to neighboring cities Lakeland, St. Petersburg, Bradenton and Sarasota. The talent is there to build South Florida into the program it was supposed to become under Holtz.”
Via Corey Long, ESPN.com
“USF made what I think is the best coaching hire in America. Willie Taggart will infuse the program with much needed passion, heart and discipline.”
“Haney ranked the top coaching hires in all of college football. He has Taggart at No. 5 and Tuberville at No. 8 on his Top 15 list. Not too shabby for a conference that has gotten nothing but grief over the past year for where it has gone wrong.”
Via Andrea Adelson, ESPN.com
Media Days with Coach T
CBS 98.7 The Fan Radio Interview: Willie Taggart
by Matthew Manuri
Publisher & Editor, SoFloBulls.com | @Mcknurkle
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