Sunday, June 9, 2024

Overtime with Willie Taggart

We couldn’t fit all of our interview with new FAU Football head coach Willie Taggart into the September/October issue of Boca magazine. Here’s even more from our Q&A session.

Do you think that we can expect to see college football this fall?

I do. I mean, they’ve already allowed our players to come back, and that’s a great sign. They’re back and voluntarily working out, so from that standpoint I feel like we will. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Attendance (or lack thereof) at FAU football games has always been a big talking point. Is it a concern for you?

Well, I think that’s not just an FAU issue. That’s around college football, but we know that’s one of the things that we’d like to improve on. I don’t think we can lose sight of the fact that we’re still a young program that’s growing. We won the conference the last two out of three years, so winning plays a part, but I think there are a lot of other factors that play a part as well. I think the most important thing is to keep improving, and eventually we’ll get to where we want to be. But you can’t overlook the fact that we’re not that old as a program, all these other programs had a head start on us. 

What are your thoughts on Coach Kiffin’s tenure at FAU? Is there anything you want to carry over?

If anything, it’s winning. I think the culture and the way we do things will be different, but we want to continue to win. I think that’s the ultimate goal, and that’s something that he’s done a lot of, being here, and winning two championships in three years, that’s big time. And We want to continue to do those things. 

Do you consider yourself more of an offensive or defensive head coach?

I think if I had to pick, I’d say I’m more of an offensive coach because I’ve coached on that side of the ball for my entire career, and I’ve called plays, and ran offenses. But I think a big reason I’m an offensive coach and consider myself a good one is because of how much defense I understand, and, how much time I’ve invested in learning defense. That allows you to come up with different plays, and different schemes, and different ways of attacking defenses, because you understand what they’re doing on that side of the ball. And once you become a head coach, you’ve got to get involved with all of it and understand it. I’ve been blessed to do this for over ten years and have a good understanding of it all. 

Will you be calling the plays at FAU?

Yes. I did [call offensive plays] at Western [Kentucky], and in South Florida, and at Oregon, and part of the first year at Florida State. I didn’t last year, so we’ll get back to what I’ve done, and it’s pretty much why I’ve gotten some jobs and we’ve been good, so I’m getting back to what I do. And I lean on our assistant coaches. They’re really critical in that. I’ll be a play caller and those guys help me out quite a bit throughout the games. 

This Web Extra was inspired by the September/October issue of Boca magazine. To stay up to date with all things Boca, subscribe today!

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James Biagiotti
James Biagiotti
James Biagiotti is a native of Boca Raton, a marketing professional in South Florida, and the former Web Editor of Boca Raton magazine. He is an avid music fan who spends far too much time listening to, dissecting, and traveling to see his favorite bands. He is also, unfortunately, a devoted Miami Dolphins fan.

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