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Birth Year : 1975
Willie Taggart, from Palmetto, FL, became the first African American head football coach at Western Kentucky University (WKU) on November 23, 2009. He had been an assistant coach at the school from 1999-2006, and had also been a student athlete, setting 11 school records as quarterback of the football team 1995-1998. Taggart graduated in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in social science. His WKU football jersey was retired in 1999. Taggart was also an outstanding high school quarterback at Manatee High School in Florida. During his sophomore year, Taggart, at 5 foot-11 inches and 138 pounds, replaced the team's injured All-American quarterback and lead the team to a 44-0 victory. The Manatee High School football team was the 5A Champions during Taggart's junior year as quarterback, and the team played in the championship game his senior year when Taggart was named first team all-state and all-conference. In 2010, Taggart was one of three African American head football coaches hired at Kentucky universities: Joker Phillips at the University of Kentucky, and Charlie Strong at the University of Louisville. In 2012, Taggart left Western Kentucky University to become head football coach at the University of South Florida [source: ESPN NCAAF, 12/08/2012]. For more see "WKU hires Willie Taggart as head football coach," ABC - 13 WBKO: Video, 11/24/2009; Willie Taggart, a WKU website; W. Hiatt, "Manatee crushes Brandon," The Bradenton Herald, 10/05/1991, Sports section, p.C1; and the 2010 interview "Coach Willie Taggart," program #532 [available online] at Connections With Renee Shaw on Kentucky Educational Television (KET).
Geographic Region: Palmetto, Florida / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky