Sources close to former South Florida Bulls head coach Willie Taggart told The Daily Stampede that he’s very interested in returning to Tampa as the next head coach.
To follow up on @TBTimes_Bulls’ reporting, I’ve learned from sources close to Willie Taggart that he wants to be at #USF for the long haul. He doesn’t want to move his family again. They said Willie was happiest at #USF and he understands the quirks of the job.— Florida Statute Section 1004.28(5)(b) (@BullsNathanSBN) December 4, 2019
More to come
As everyone knows, Taggart left USF in 2016 to take the Oregon job before leaving Eugene to take the Florida State job. Taggart lasted just 21 games in Tallahassee before the boosters at the school raised $20 million to buy out the embattled head coach.
For USF fans, there’s the ever important question of: He left once, why should I believe he won’t leave again?
It’s a valid question and TDS has been told that Taggart doesn’t want to move his family again, especially with his son, Jackson, who will start eighth grade next year. Taggart wants Jackson to be at the same high school for all four years, something his eldest son, Willie Jr, was not able to do.
I've learned representatives of #USF have been in contact with former Bulls coach Willie Taggart regarding his old job. Taggart badly wants a second act in Tampa, willing to commit in writing he's in it for the long haul.— Joey Knight (@TBTimes_Bulls) December 4, 2019
For all of Taggart’s faults, there’s no denying he left the USF program in a better place than he got it, recruited with the best of them, and wasn’t afraid to make coaching changes until he figured out who fit.
It’s believed that continuity with the athletic director is a huge priority for Taggart. He was hired by Doug Woolard and ended his tenure with Mark Harlan. We all know how we feel about Mark, and it’s safe to say Taggart wasn’t Harlan’s guy and they did not see eye-to-eye on a lot of things regarding the program. At Florida State, he was hired by Stan Wilcox, who left to work for the NCAA, and finished his tenure under David Coburn.
The USF job has its quirks, and needs a forward-facing voice for the program in the Tampa Bay community, something sorely missing from the Charlie Strong era. USF needs to hire someone who understands that they aren’t just a coach, but also an ambassador, salesperson, and the first person people think of when the school is mentioned. Could Taggart be that guy, again?
Time will tell.