The University of South Florida extended the contract of their head coach, Willie Taggart, through the 2020 season. The announcement comes just one day after Taggart interviewed with the South Carolina Gamecocks about permanently replacing Steve Spurrier, who resigned from that position after a 2-4 start to the season. Taggart enthusiastically confirmed the extension with USF on his own Twitter account:
Stay true to the people that believe in you. 5 more years. Go Bulls!!🤘🏾🤘🏼🤘🏾🤘🏼#LetsGet9#UnfinishedBusiness pic.twitter.com/zANw0BHzzu
— Willie Taggart (@CoachTaggart) December 5, 2015
While Taggart’s career record as a head coach is an initially unimpressive 30-42, he appeared to have cemented a reputation for turning around moribund programs in just six short years as a coach. Taggart debuted as a head coach in 2010 with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, who were just in their fourth season as a Division 1-A school. the Hilltoppers had a combined 2-22 record in the two seasons before Taggart debuted. Although they finished 2-10 in Taggart’s first season as well, the team finished 7-5 in both 2011 and 2012, after which Taggart left for USF.
Taggart has also methodically rebuilt the Bulls’ program. The team had endured back-to-back losing seasons, under Skip Holtz, immediately before Taggart’s arrival. In 2013, USF finished 2-10, improving to 4-8 in 2014, and currently sitting at 8-4 this season.
The Bulls will finish their 2015 season at the Miami Beach Bowl this December 21. They are projected to face — ironically enough — Western Kentucky.