TAMPA — Less than a month after new Colorado coach Deion Sanders said Willie Taggart would be joining his staff, the former USF and Florida State head coach is headed to Baltimore instead of Boulder.
Dismissed in November after three seasons at Florida Atlantic, Taggart has beenhired as Ravens running backs coach, refortifying his deep roots with the Harbaugh family tree.
“He has a proven track record for developing players as a position coach, as an offensive coordinator and as a head coach,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “A leader and a highly effective motivator, Willie’s reputation for building strong relationships with his players and fellow coaches will serve our offense well moving forward.”
Occasionally referred to as the “third Harbaugh son,” Taggart was a four-year starter at quarterback for Jack Harbaugh — father of John Harbaugh and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh — at Western Kentucky. He later served on the Hilltoppers staff under the elder Harbaugh and was co-offensive coordinator on his final team (2002) that won the Division I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision) national title.
Taggart got his first Division I-A coaching job in 2007 as running backs coach at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh, who helped his dad recruit Taggart out of Bradenton’s Manatee High.
“Jim Harbaugh recruited me to play for his dad at Western Kentucky,” Taggart told reporters when introduced as Oregon’s new coach in December 2016. “And I tell everyone to this day, ever since I met Jim Harbaugh, my life has been going nowhere but up. ... I call Jim, John and Joani (the Harbaughs’ sister) my sister and brothers from another mother.”
The job with the Ravens is Taggart’s first NFL coaching gig. He has amassed a 71-80 record in parts of 13 seasons as a college coach.
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