Oregon head coach Willie Taggart is reportedly targeting Charlie Strong for the program’s defensive coordinator job. Ironically, Strong is also a serious candidate to replace Taggart at USF.
Willie Taggart has hit the ground running in Eugene. Since being named Oregon’s head coach, Taggart has reportedly scheduled a trip to Hawaii to visit quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in hopes of flipping the Alabama commit, he’s offered Florida’s only running back commit, Malik Davis, one day after the Gators tailback stable was thinned due to transfer, and he’s reportedly reached out to Charlie Strong with regards to Oregon’s vacant defensive coordinator position.
The ties here are rather interesting given reports that Strong and Taggart’s former employer, USF, has been in close contact about the Bulls’ head-coaching position. Strong would make an excellent fit at USF given his deep ties to the state of Florida, though there have been rumblings he might instead opt for a defensive coordinator position, on account of being exhausted from the politicking as head man at Texas.
Taggart was apparently paying close attention to Oregon president Michael Schill when he offered advice to, “Go out and find a great defensive coordinator.”
Once a career position, Oregon’s defensive coordinator job has been a revolving door of late. Nick Aliotti served in the role for 17 years under the likes of Rich Brooks, Mike Bellotti, Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich. After his retirement following the 2013 Alamo Bowl, Helfrich plugged in Don Pellum for two inconsistent seasons, and then Brady Hoke this past year. Instead of being a home run hire, Hoke coached a unit that allowed 518.4 yards and 41.4 points per game.
Taggart is well aware that the Ducks are in search of their third defensive coordinator in as many years, and that locking down the high-powered offenses in the Pac-12 is paramount to success.
“I just want a really good defense,” Taggart said at his introductory press conference. “I don’t care how it looks, I want it to be really good and I want to stop people from scoring touchdowns. Whatever it takes from stopping people, that’s what we are going to do.”
At the moment, it appears like the world is, again, Charlie Strong’s oyster. Head coach or defensive coordinator: there are plenty of suitors for whatever work he desires next season.