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Taggart adds new faces to football coaching staff

Published: Monday, January 7, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 7, 2013 14:01


Over the break, the new face of the USF football program has begun to take form.

Since head coach Willie Taggart was hired, four new coaches have been added to the staff. The new faces on the sideline next fall include Walt Wells,

Raymond Woodie, Nick Sheridan, and Robert Weiner. 

Head coach: Willie Taggart

Hired six days after former USF coach Skip Holtz_now coach of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs_was fired, Willie Taggart’s arrival has galvanized the fan base.  

A graduate of Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, Taggart started his coaching career at his alma mater in 1999 with the WKU’s wide receivers. 

In 2000, he moved to coaching quarterbacks, a trend that he would keep with Western Kentucky as he went on to become the co-offensive coordinator while still overseeing the quarterback position.  After just another year, Taggart became the assistant head coach of the

Hilltoppers.  

In his years moving around in the ranks at WKU, Taggart had an overall record of 67-31. With a near 70 percent winning percentage as an assistant coach, Taggart served as running backs coach for Stanford. 

In his three years with Stanford, Taggart had a record of 17-20. However, during his years there, Stanford had a running game that was ranked second in the Pac-10 conference for rushing in 2008. In his last season with the Cardinals, the ground game broke a school single season record with 2,692 yards. 

Taggart returned to WKU to become a head coach for the first time in his career. Back at his alma mater, Taggart helped the Hilltoppers to win 12 of 14 games

between the end of the 2011 season and the beginning of 2012, losing only to two No.1 ranked teams

Alabama and LSU. 

Now taking the helm of the USF football team, Taggart will look to construct yet another huge turnaround season similar to what he did with the Hilltoppers just three years ago. 

Offensive coordinator/offensive line: Walt Wells

Wells began his career in Tennessee at the high school level as an assistant coach, later moving on to another Tennessee school in Cumberland at the same position. 

His collegiate coaching career started at Eastern Kentucky with the offensive line and tight ends where he spent five years. During those years, he coached seven

all-league players along with an All-American. EKU ranked in the nation’s Top 10, during Wells’ last two years there. 

In 2003, Wells went to the opposite side of Kentucky to coach alongside Taggart as Western Kentucky’s offensive line coach. In addition to his line helping WKU to breaking records in both points and total yards, Wells’ line allowed only 13 sacks in 13 games. 

During his 10-year stay at WKU, Wells and the Hilltopper offense experience much success.

In 2005, WKU averaged 30.8 points and 405.7 yards total offense per game, both ranking in the nation’s Top 30. Wells also was able to help four WKU offensive linemen to become All-Americans. 

Defensive Assistant Coach: Raymond Woodie

Woodie is certainly not new to coaching football, having coached since 1996, but the collegiate level is something that is relatively new to long-time high school coach. 

In his many years as a coach on the high school level, Woodie has helped 43 student athletes to sign full athletic scholarships, the most notable being Fabian Washington, who was taken late in the first round of the NFL draft by the Falcons in 2005. 

In 1997, Woodie became the youngest head coach in the state of Florida at the age of 23, when he coached for Bayshore High School. The team went to the district

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