Report: Willie Taggart A ‘Strong Candidate’ For Oregon Job

The Oregon Ducks are eyeing USF’s Willie Taggart as a potential option to fill the open head coaching position.

South Florida head coach Willie Taggart is a “strong candidate” in Oregon’s search for a new head coach, according to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports.

Taggart has helped revive the USF program since taking over in 2013, including a 10-2 record this season that included a four-game winning streak to end the year.

Willie Taggart
Willie Taggart is in the mix for the open Oregon position. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

An alumnus of Western Kentucky, Taggart received his first head coaching job at his alma mater in 2010, taking the Hilltoppers to a 7-5 record in both 2011 and 2012 and the school’s first bowl appearance since 1963. He accepted the South Florida offer before the Hilltoppers played in the Little Caesers Pizza Bowl.

The Bulls struggled in Taggart’s first two seasons in Tampa, racking up a record of 6-18 before breaking through with a 8-5 record last season and berth in the Miami Beach Bowl. USF has improved by at least two wins in each season under Taggart.

Taggart has seen the rise of dual-threat quarterback Quinton Flowers, who was named the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year for his performance this season. Flowers, much like the successful quarterbacks that Oregon has had in the past, can beat teams with both his arm and legs.

Oregon fired Mark Helfrich on Tuesday following a 4-8 season. Helfrich led Oregon to the College Football Playoff championship game in 2014, ultimately falling to Ohio State. In his four years, he had a record of 37-16.

Other names that have been linked with the Oregon job is Florida’s Jim McElwain, Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck, and Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano.

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