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USF goes viral: More on the Taggart bus video



By now, you've probably seen USF's wildly popular Willie Taggart get-on-the-bus music video, which has gotten all kinds of love on Twitter from national bloggers today.

We caught up with Ayo Taylor-Dixon, USF's associate athletic director for marketing and revenue, to talk about the story behind the bus, which has been in the works since May. A few highlights:

-- Taylor-Dixon said Taggart was receptive to the idea from the start, but he still went back to the coach with the finished product, just to make sure he liked how it turned out. USF was careful to get individual permission from everyone who appears on the bus. The Bulls didn't want to use anyone's likeness without their consent, so everybody pictured was on the bus before they were on the bus.

-- USF got help on the project from Clearwater-based FKQ Advertising & Marketing, which has handled other Bulls marketing campaigns in the past.

-- Why no Greg Schiano, you ask? He obviously has a history of doing, well, other things to fast-moving USF football buses. Taylor-Dixon said they asked the Bucs who they could have, and Josh Freeman and Doug Martin were suggested, but Freeman couldn't get things signed before the video's deadlines, so it's just Martin, with former Bucs coach Jon Gruden (and longtime Chuck Bresnahan associate) in as well.

-- Extras? Yes, extras! There are three "non-celebrities" on the bus, if you will -- Allison Minisce is USF's marketing coordinator for student relations and gets on the bus with Police Chief Jane Castor at the Times Forum. Two other extras who showed up for a quick casting call -- USF students Varun Vasudco and Beth Barthle -- appear on the bus as well.

-- The video only adds to the legend of Alberto Damour, former USF walk-on basketball player, who got the big-head treatment with a huge cutout in the student section with his fellow seniors at his final home game in 2012.

-- Want to download the song? Here's one link -- I think USF will have a prominent link soon so you can have the song for ringtones or wedding first dances or anything else you want ...

-- As the Times' Matt Baker astutely asked, is Taggart even properly licensed to drive a bus? The video itself shows a Class B license is required, and we joked with the coach on the day of filming about his lack of proper training. Taggart explained that he only started the bus and didn't drive it for the shoot, so we think he's in good shape. And good to have the Tampa Police Chief on the bus, just in case.

-- Had to dig to find it, but when I think of USF football coaches and memorable videos, I have to go to August 2009, when Jim Leavitt spent the better part of three minutes trying to break into a bottle of chocolate milk in the middle of post-practice questions. You can find the video here -- go ahead and forward to the 6:55 mark. I should by now be able to stop laughing each time Leavitt starts to gnaw on the bottle's cap, trying to get into it, but I really can't. Undervalued in the same clip: The relentless beep-beep-beep noise of the camera scissor-lifts slowly lowering. It's outstanding background audio in any interview.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 5:24pm]


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