Advertisement
  1. Sports

Reports: Willie Taggart meets with Oregon about head coaching job

South Florida head coach Willie Taggart sings the school song with his team after the Bulls' 56-20 victory over Towson at Raymond James in Tampa on Saturday, September 3, 2016. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
South Florida head coach Willie Taggart sings the school song with his team after the Bulls' 56-20 victory over Towson at Raymond James in Tampa on Saturday, September 3, 2016. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published Dec. 4, 2016

In recent days, Twitter has been rife with photos of USF prospects posing with Bulls coaches during in-home visits. Staffers Shaun King, T.J. Weist, Alonzo Hampton and David Reaves all have popped up in these smile-centric snapshots.

One coach was conspicuously absent: Willie Taggart.

Taggart met with Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens in Texas about the Ducks' head coaching vacancy, ESPN and the Oregonian reported. The Ducks are seeking a replacement for Mark Helfrich, who was fired Tuesday after four years in the immediate wake of a 4-8 season.

USF athletic director Mark Harlan declined comment when asked by the Tampa Bay Times if anyone from Oregon has requested permission to speak with Taggart, saying he doesn't address personnel matters of that nature.

Taggart, who has won 17 of his past 21 games as Bulls coach, has been widely considered a strong candidate for the job.

Former Bucs coach Tony Dungy, meanwhile, is in Taggart's corner, speaking to Oregon officials about the coach.

"I certainly think he's a good fit," Dungy told ESPN. "I had a chance to watch him coach a year when my son played there (after transferring from Oregon). I liked his style. I think he's a guy that can relate to the players very well.

"He's put together two winning programs (at Western Kentucky and USF). He knows the West Coast, having been at Stanford (as an assistant from 2007-09). He has all the elements Oregon is looking for. … Oregon is a great job and hopefully he gets it. If not, we're happy to still have him in Tampa."

No hurry to leave: Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, who has come up as a potential candidate for the coach openings at Oregon and Houston and the offensive coordinator position at LSU under former USC colleague Ed Orgeron, said he wants to stay with the Crimson Tide at least through the playoff.

Herman contract: University of Texas regents have approved a five-year contract worth at least $25 million for new coach Tom Herman. The contract calls for annual salary of $5.25 million the first year and up to $6.25 million in the final year. Herman was hired away from Houston to replace Charlie Strong, who was fired after three consecutive losing seasons. UT owes Strong more than $10 million.

Mayfield staying: Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield will return for his senior season. Mayfield has passed for 3,669 yards and 38 touchdowns, and completed 71.2 percent of his passes in one of the most efficient seasons in Division I-A history. He said he wants to come back to win a national title and claim another Big 12 title for OU.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. PlantCity QB Makenzie Kennedy threw three touchdowns in the Hillsborough County Senior All-star Game at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night. [CHUCK FRYE  |  Special to the Times]
    The East has now won five straight in the senior showcase.
  2. President Donald Trump flips the coin before the start of the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. [JACQUELYN MARTIN  |  AP]
    With President Donald Trump on hand, quarterback Malcolm Perry puts on a record performance for the Midshipmen, rushing for 304 yards and 2 TDs.
  3. Joe Burrow poses with his trophy in New York after joining Billy Cannon (1959) as LSU Heisman winners. [JASON SZENES  |  AP]
    The quarterback dominates the voting in a record landslide.
  4. In this Dec. 7, 2019, file photo, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) warms up before the SEC championship game against Georgia, in Atlanta. [JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP]
    Matt Baker put two defensive linemen on his ballot, but neither could top the LSU star quarterback.
  5. Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) on the ice before a face off during the final minutes against the Minnesota Wild during third period action at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 in Tampa. The Lightning lost with a final score of 5-4.  [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Last year’s Hart Trophy winner missed a game earlier this season with a lower-body injury
  6. Bucs travel to Detroit and more sports on the air.
  7. Yesterday• Florida State Seminoles
    Florida State Seminoles running back Cam Akers (3) celebrates his first quarter touchdown during the Florida State Seminoles game against the Boise State Broncos at Doak Campbell Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Florida.  [MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    With decent blocking, Akers could have been an All-American. Instead his legacy will be saving FSU repeatedly during a rough stretch.
  8. Japan's Yoshitomo Tsutsugo rounds bases after hitting a solo home run off Israel's pitcher Dylan Axelrod during the sixth inning of their second round game of the World Baseball Classic at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Wednesday, March 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi) [SHIZUO KAMBAYASHI  |  AP]
    Rays Tales | For one, the lineup is a bit too left-handed. For another, they need more flexibility. Also, more on Sternberg, and rumblings.
  9. Lightning coach Jon Cooper, left, said Andrei Vasilevskiy will start in goal for the Lightning Saturday night against Washington at Amalie Arena. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
    Braydon Coburn returned to the ice, but there’s no update on Tyler Johnson
  10. Peyton Manning threw 26 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions in 2001, his age-25 season. Jameis Winston has thrown 26 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions through 13 games this season, which is his age-25 season. What does it mean? Probably nothing. [KEVIN RIVOLI  |  Associated Press]
    Reality check: Manning’s 2001 was superior to Winston’s 2019, mainly because it’s easier to play quarterback in today’s NFL.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement