Oregon hires Willie Taggart as new head football coach

South Florida head coach Willie Taggart shouts instructions to the team during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Central Florida, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. South Florida won 48-31. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/AP

Oregon has hired Willie Taggart, who spent the last four seasons as head coach at South Florida, to take over as coach of the Ducks following the dismissal of Mark Helfrich.

Oregon formally announced Taggart's appointment Wednesday.

Taggart has led USF to an 18-7 record over the last two seasons, including a 10-2 mark this year. He also spent three seasons as coach of Western Kentucky, his alma mater, and was an assistant coach at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh.

Oregon fired Helfrich last week after the Ducks went 4-8.

''Oregon has a strong national presence and a proud recent history of playing among the nation's elite, and I look forward to the challenge of upholding the excellence,'' Taggart said in a statement. ''I can't wait to get started.''