Seven hours after the news was first reported by ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, the Oregon athletic department officially announced the hire of Willie Taggart as the next head coach of the Oregon football team.
Taggart will officially be introduced as Oregon’s next head coach on Thursday morning at 11 AM. The press conference will be broadcast live on the GoDucks Facebook page.
Oregon published the story of Taggart’s hiring with statements from Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens, Taggart himself, and UO president Michael Schill.
"We are thrilled to welcome Willie, his wife, Taneshia, their sons, Willie Jr. and Jackson, and their daughter, Morgan," UO athletic director Rob Mullens said. "Willie places an emphasis on ensuring a positive student-athlete experience and on winning, and his previous stops have proven his success at both. We have a very bright future under his leadership."
"I want to congratulate Willie Taggart on becoming the University of Oregon's next head football coach, and welcome him and his family to the flock," UO president and professor of law Michael H. Schill said. "I am confident that Coach Taggart fits with the UO's values and culture of excellence as it relates to supporting our student-athletes' personal growth and success both on and off the playing field.
"I am grateful for the trust that President Schill and have put in me to be the next head coach of the Oregon football program, and I thank them for the opportunity," Taggart said. "Oregon has a strong national presence and a proud recent history of playing among the nation's elite, and I look forward to the challenge of upholding the excellence. I can't wait to get started."
As noted in the story, Taggart is Oregon’s 33rd head coach in school history and the program’s first African-American head coach in its 122-year history.
Willie Taggart's heading to Oregon. He's one step closer to his dream. pic.twitter.com/6cxZcLsTyx— SB Nation (@SBNation) December 7, 2016
There were also early reports of the contract that Taggart will sign with Oregon.
Source: Willie Taggart's deal at Oregon is five years at an average of $3.2 million per year.— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) December 7, 2016
The numbers are about on par with what Mark Helfrich was expected to make in upcoming seasons.
In 2015, Taggart signed an extension with South Florida through the 2020 season worth $9 million, or about $1.8 million per year. By coming to Oregon, Taggart has nearly doubled his salary overnight.
However, as a result of accepting a new coaching job after the first year of his extension, Taggart owes USF a $1.7 million buyout payment.