Blackwell joins Western Kentucky staff as GA
Former USF quarterback Marquel Blackwell, who has worked with the Bulls as a program assistant for the past three seasons, has joined the coaching staff at Western Kentucky as a graduate assistant working with the Hilltoppers' running backs.
"I watched his career, watched him play, and we've been in touch with each other," WKU head coach Willie Taggart said Sunday night. "I know he's trying to get there as a coach, and I love giving guys an opportunity to do those things."
Blackwell, who was not on Skip Holtz's coaching staff this spring, played for USF from 1999-2002 and remains the Bulls' all-time leading passer, holding several career records, including passing yards (9,108) and touchdown passes (67). He was the head coach at Tampa's Freedom High from 2007-08 before joining the staff at USF.
Taggart played at Bradenton Manatee and has actively recruited the Tampa area and to the south, and Blackwell's presence should only help in those efforts. Taggart had a full-time opening on his offensive staff this summer, but filled that by naming former WKU quarterback Donte Pimpleton, previously an offensive quality control assistant, as his new receivers coach. His quarterbacks coach, Nick Sheridan, was also promoted this year after working as an offensive GA.
WKU has made an impressive turnaround under Taggart -- when the Hilltoppers lost at USF in 2010, it was near the end of a 26-game losing streak, but last season, WKU went 7-5, including a 7-1 mark in the Sun Belt. Blackwell did not return calls seeking comment Sunday night.