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Three reasons Willie Taggart could remain at USF in '17

USF's Willie Taggart will be mentioned as a prime coaching candidate for a number of Power Five openings this offseason. But could he remain in Tampa for at least another year?

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

USF's Willie Taggart will be mentioned as a prime coaching candidate for a number of Power Five openings this offseason. But could he remain in Tampa for at least another year?

25

November

Barring something wacky, such as East Carolina shocking Temple, USF's regular season will end Saturday. And the ridiculous season will commence.

As sure as turkey induces drowsiness, Willie Taggart's name will be attached to possible coaching vacancies in every nook of the nation, and rightfully so. His surreal resuscitation of USF football has catapulted his name to the top of various lists of prime Power Five coaching candidates.

But as logic-defying as it may seem to some, could Taggart -- who reportedly interviewed for the South Carolina gig this time last year -- respectfully decline any coaching overtures and remain at USF a fifth season?

You betcha. And the notion isn't nearly as far-fetched as it may seem. Here are three reasons why:

1. Family. Taggart, a married father of three, recently built a new house in the Lutz area, a pretty solid indicator of someone setting down roots. Additionally, his oldest son, Will, is a freshman at Tampa Catholic who projects as one of the Crusaders' top football players in the next year or two. If you don't think it's difficult uprooting kids when they're teen-agers, you've probably never had a teen-ager. Do-able? Sure, just difficult. 

2. Flowers, Mack and Co.: If the Bulls can't eke out the program's first conference title this year (and they'd need some help from 3-8 ECU to do it), they'd be the overwhelming favorite for the American Athletic Conference crown in 2017. QB Quinton Flowers will be a senior (and on the Heisman radar early on), as will TB Marlon Mack (if he remains in school). Toss in a very solid supporting cast, and '17 shapes up as an unprecedented one at USF. Would Taggart really walk away from that?

3. Better gigs in '17: To be sure, a number of Power Five jobs are bound to open soon, but the chances of Taggart landing a prestigious one (i.e. Texas, LSU, Oregon) are slim. Instead, his name likely will be attached to places such as N.C. State, Purdue or Texas Tech. Fine jobs all, but not exactly SEC-caliber. If Taggart holds out another year and adds a conference title (and possible national ranking) to his resume, he could be in line for a more attractive gig this time next season.

[Last modified: Friday, November 25, 2016 2:51pm]

    

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