Coach Headshot Generic

Willie Taggart

Running Backs Coach

College: Western Kentucky

Hometown: Bradenton, FL

Experience: 1 year


Taggart, 46, is a 24-year coaching veteran at the collegiate level, holding head coach titles at five Division I programs (Florida Atlantic – 2020-22; Florida State – 2018-19; Oregon – 2017; South Florida – 2013-16; Western Kentucky – 2010-12).

Over his 13 seasons as a head coach, Taggart finished with a 71-80 combined record, guiding Florida Atlantic to the 2020 Montgomery Bowl and South Florida to the 2015 Miami Beach Bowl. In 2016, Taggart led a 10-2 South Florida team that finished the season ranked (No. 19) for the first time in school history.

Prior to his first head-coaching job at Western Kentucky, Taggart served as Stanford's running backs coach (2007-09) and held various titles as an offensive assistant at his alma mater, Western Kentucky (1999-06). As an assistant with the Hilltoppers, he worked with quarterbacks and wide receivers, while adding responsibilities as assistant head coach (2003-06) and co-offensive coordinator (2001-02). In 2002, Taggart helped direct an offense that registered a school-record 432 points, 5,749 total yards and 263 first downs, culminating in a NCAA Division I-AA National Championship.

Taggart transitioned to coaching after an illustrious playing career that ranked among the best in Western Kentucky's history. Recruited by Jim Harbaugh to play for Jim's father, Jack, Taggart was the program's starting quarterback all four years (1995-98) and set 11 school records, highlighted by his 47 rushing touchdowns. He left the university holding the NCAA Division I record for rushing yards by a quarterback (3,997). In each of his last two collegiate seasons (1997-98), Taggart was a finalist for the prestigious Walter Payton Award – an annual honor awarded to the top offensive player in I-AA football. His jersey number was retired by Western Kentucky in 1999.

Taggart graduated from WKU with a bachelor's degree in social sciences in 1998. A Bradenton, Fla., native, Taggart produced a decorated prep career at Bradenton's Manatee High School, where he led the Hurricanes to a 5A state title as a junior and was a first-team All-State and All-Conference selection as a senior, after directing Manatee to the state championship game for a second-straight year.

Taggart and his wife, Taneshia, have two sons (Willie Jr. and Jackson) and one daughter (Morgan).