UPDATE | 5:30 p.m.--
USF’s players showed up for a team meeting Wednesday afternoon to hear first hand their head coach is leaving.
They were told not to talk to the media.
On campus, word spread just as students are in the middle of final exams.
“I will say I just took a final exam and I bombed it. I think it might have something to do with it,” joked USF student Trent Fox.
As for who’s next at USF?
Big names are being tossed out like Charlie Strong, Lane Kiffin, and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano.
“Whoever it is, I’m still going to be here and support my friends. Hopefully we can go 11-1 next year,” said Fox.
ORIGINAL STORY | Willie Taggart has been named Oregon's next football coach.
Oregon recently fired Mark Helfrich after he took the Ducks to 4-8 overall and 2-7 in the Pac-12 this season.
Taggart, a Bay area native, has been the football coach at USF for the past four seasons. He was named the head coach of USF on December 9, 2012.
He has brought huge success to the football program at USF. In his first season the team was 2-10. This year, the team is 10-2, they're off to a bowl game and they received their first Top 25 ranking since 2011.
T.J. Weist, a co-offensive coordinator, has been named interim football coach, according to a statement released by USF.
“We will work quickly, but with careful thought and discussion to find our next football coach. We have the outstanding support of our community, and are confident that we’ll soon find the best and most qualified coach to lead our Football program," said USF Director of Athletics Mark Harlan.
“We are very proud of our record-setting football season,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft. “We now have the foundation of our football program in place. We have a terrific group of student-athletes who are laser-focused on the Birmingham Bowl and next year’s season. We wish Coach Taggart well.”
Taggart will be introduced to Oregon on Thursday.
In a released statement, Taggart said, "I am grateful for the trust that President Schill and Rob Mullens have put in me to be the next head coach of the Oregon football program, and I thank them for the opportunity."
"I can't wait to get started," Taggart stated.
USF Head Coach Willie Taggart has reportedly taken the Oregon job. Taggart has taken two programs from the depths to beyond respectability.
Oregon will be a whole new set of challenged for Taggart, but he loves challenges and has the temperament to withstand pundits along the way.
I firmly believe that Tony Dungy was a huge influence in Willie getting hired. Wouldn't be surprised if Jim Harbaugh didn't give his blessing. It's always a plus to have friends in high places.
I see that more than a few USF fans are mad at Tony for propping Willie. No reason for that type of thinking, and rather narrow minded.
Tony has always been an upstanding guy. He tells it like he feels. You can't ride someone for expressing what they believe, especially when it benefits someone we all know and like.
Willie will be faced with a whole new set of challenges at Oregon. However, Willie obviously loves challenges.
With the resurgence of Washington in the Pac, he'll have to pull off some magic to get the necessary recruits to compete in that conference.
Willie now enters the big time among Division 1 conferences. We wish him well.
But to be honest, as I stated in my earlier tweets "there was no way Taggart would take Oergon job, " I'm a little shocked.
Once I saw the TBT article on Tony defending himself on talking up Taggart to Oregon where his son played ball before transferring to USF, I felt something was up.
Got this one wrong, no doubt about it.
With Matt Rhule turning down the job, among other bigger names according to reports, Willie was sitting in the right place at the right time.
We're unclear whether he will coach the Bulls in the Birmingham Bowl.
I would imagine we will find out more details later today from AD Mark Harlan.
Brett McMurphy of ESPN reports that Taggart could be announced as Oregon's HC today.
Good luck Willie!
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