EUGENE, Oregon — Ducks’ head coach Willie Taggart addressed the media on Friday before their indoor practice. Oregon’s lead man has been involved in most rumors coming out of the state of Florida, namely Tallahassee.
“I am the head football coach at the University of Oregon,” said Taggart before a large media contingent.
On the same day that Jimbo Fisher resigned from Florida State, he was hired by Texas A&M for the most lucrative coaching contract in college football history. The former Seminole head coach signed a 10-year deal for $75 million.
My big question is did he really resign or was that FSU’s polite way of asking him to leave? Regardless, the former home of Bobby Bowden will not settle for anything less than the best and clearly they didn’t think Fisher fit the bill.
Taggart was uncharacteristically late to address the media. He did not begin speaking until 44 minutes after his designated time. When he did arrive, the coach did so with a huge smile and plenty of jokes about rumors.
“There is nothing more to report. I’m sorry I can’t give you guys what you want. Social media sparked it. Social media is unbelievable.”
As the questioning began to get serious, Coach Taggart seemed unsettled. Whether it’s because he is tired of answering it or the other, that is for you to decide.
“Let’s talk about this football team,” said Taggart as he tried to redirect the focus.
Yet, football comes second when you don’t know if you’ll have a head coach by this time next week. With a talent like Taggart, these type of rumors will circulate around him annually.
This is today’s athletic environment and he’s just that good. It’s better this than the alternative; a head coach nobody wants.
For Oregon football, they’re trending in the right direction after a strong finish to the regular season.
“I think we’re headed in the right direction,” Taggart replied. “There are things we have to improve on and we’re doing that right now. At the end of the day, you can see the progress.”
While the team is working on making improvements, the next assignment is finding out who the Ducks will play in their bowl game. That announcement will be made on Sunday.
“We want to go out and win the bowl game,” said UO’s head coach.
But, the conversation quickly turned back toward coaching vacancies. At this moment, one could see Taggart getting visibly frustrated with the line of questioning. His tone quickly changed when asked how his players are handling the rumors.
“I am the head football coach at the University of Oregon,” Taggart restated. “I love them. I appreciate them. That’s why we’re in the position we’re in.”
As for what’s ahead for the program, Taggart and his coaching staff have another big recruiting weekend slated but the bowl game could interfere with it. Either way, the coach will roll with the punches, as he’s prone to doing.
“We’ll have to change some things up. We have a big time recruiting weekend coming up. It is what it is. We’ll play and adjust when we have to.”
Before any more questions could be asked, the head coach ended his press conference. But before he jogged to the indoor facility, he left us with this:
“Alright, got to go to OREGON’S practice! Go Ducks!”
And just like that, he was gone.
We will have much more on these developments, plus Oregon’s bowl opponent coming up this weekend. For now, Taggart is Oregon’s head coach! Haven't you heard?