USF contract for Taggart: Five years, $5.75 million
Lots to write about after two hours of interviews here at USF -- a rousing welcome for new football coach Willie Taggart, who will hit the ground running and working the recruiting circles before he even starts assembling a coaching staff.
Taggart, 36, was emotional and energetic as he spoke with passion about his excitement to come home to the Tampa area after leaving Palmetto 18 years ago to play at Western Kentucky. Taggert spoke with confidence, saying "it's not a marathon, it's a sprint" when it came to expecting success quickly, and in going after the state's traditional powers from the start.
We'll have a lot to write about in the next few hours, but first, some details: His contract will pay him $1.15-million a year for five years, which works to $850,000 less per year than Skip Holtz was making. USF will be paying his $500,000 buyout to Western Kentucky, so that works to an additional $100,000 per year, but it's worth noting that he will keep the same staff for his assistants as Holtz: $1.9-million, which should allow him to surround himself with solid recruiters as an extension of his own coaching philosophy.
Taggart's buyout should he decide to leave USF is $200,000 for each year remaining on his contract, and interestingly, the contract includes a provision that he cannot receive any incentive bonuses in a year in which USF's annual football APR score falls below 930.
The recruiting news has already come for Taggart, who has secured a commitment from 6-foot-5 quarterback Mike White of Fort Lauderdale University High, fresh off a state championship. He's also a top baseball prospect, but it's a new name for the future of USF football as Taggart's recruiting efforts start.
Check back for much, much more and video from Taggart's press conference shortly. ...