When Oregon head coach Willie Taggart’s playing career ended (he was a star quarterback at Western Kentucky), he always had designs on wanting to be a head coach.
That path led him to Palo Alto in 2006, where he became the running backs coach under then head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Saturday, he makes a return to The Farm for the first time as a head coach, as Oregon takes on Stanford at 8 p.m. PT. For Taggart it’s also a chance to reunite with David Shaw, his colleague at Stanford under Harbaugh. According to Andrew Greif of The Oregonian, Shaw was an instrumental figure in his development as a coach.
“Great guy,” Taggart told Greif earlier this week. “Learned a lot of football from David Shaw while I was (at Stanford) and we kept in touch ever since. He’s been a good friend and someone I call on, especially when getting this job and talking more about the Pac-12.”
There’s no doubt the pleasantries will be laid to rest once the teams take the field, as both Oregon and Stanford are 4-2 and need the win to keep pace with Washington in the Pac-12 North division.
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