South Florida hires Willie Taggart

Former Western Kentucky head coach to lead Bulls

Published On: Dec 10 2012 01:35:20 PM EST
TAMPA, Fla. -

Willie Taggart has been hired as South Florida's new football coach after establishing himself as one of the nation's top young prospects by turning a losing program around at Western Kentucky.

USF held a news conference this weekend to introduce the 36-year-old, who grew up in the Tampa Bay area before heading off to play and later coach at Western Kentucky. He replaces Skip Holtz, who was fired following the worst season in USF's 16-year history.

Taggart comes to USF after spending three seasons as head coach at his alma mater Western Kentucky.   

Taggart led Western Kentucky to 7-5 record this season. The Hilltoppers will make their first bowl appearance against Central Michigan in the Little Caesars Bowl.

He served as running backs coach at Stanford from 2007-2009.

The former assistant to Jim Harbaugh takes over a program that went 16-21 under Skip Holtz, who dropped nine of 10 games following a 2-0 start this season.

As a prep standout at Bradenton Manatee High School, he was first team all-state and all conference selection as a senior after guiding the Hurricanes to the state 5A Championship game.