Willie Taggart Says He's 'Committed' to Oregon Amid Florida Rumors

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2017

PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 14:  Head coach Willie Taggart of the Oregon Ducks looks on from the sidelines against the Stanford Cardinal during their NCAA football game at Stanford Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Willie Taggart is on the minds of University of Florida representatives, but the Oregon football coach doesn't appear to be going anywhere.

Florida is reportedly moving quickly to replace Jim McElwain, who is out as the head football coach after he and the school mutually parted ways Sunday. According to Darren Heitner of Sports Agent Blog, Taggart is a "real possibility" and has already been contacted by those involved in the program.

Despite the questions, Taggart said he is sticking with the Ducks.

"The only AD I've been contacted by is Rob Mullens," he said Monday, per Rob Moseley of GoDucks.com. "I'm committed to the University of Oregon."

Although Taggart is in just his first year at Oregon, he would appear to be a logical target for the Gators going forward.

The 41-year-old spent the past four years at South Florida, transforming a team that went 2-10 in his first year into a powerhouse that finished 10-2 last season, including a win in the Birmingham Bowl. Prior to that, he took over a Western Kentucky squad that went 0-12 before his arrival and brought them to respectability with consecutive winning seasons.

He is just starting his reclamation project at Oregon, but the team's 5-4 record is already better than last year's 4-8 disaster under Mark Helfrich.

With Florida off to a disappointing 3-4 start to 2017, including three straight losses, the program could use someone with experience turning things around in a hurry. His experience recruiting in the Sunshine State would also help.

While Taggart is a potential target, other high-profile options include Mississippi State's Dan Mullen and Scott Frost of UCF. Randy Shannon will be the team's interim coach for the remainder of the 2017 season.

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