WKU to announce former All-American as new head coach

Former All-American quarterback Willie Taggart is returning to Western Kentucky.

According to an Associated Press report, Taggart has been hired as the new head coach for the Hilltoppers. Taggart has spent the past three seasons coaching running backs at Stanford.

An official release is expected later today.

Taggart spent eight seasons on the Western Kentucky coaching staff (1999-2006) and helped lead the team to eight consecutive winning campaigns. Taggart was the Hilltoppers wide receivers coach in 1999 before working with the quarterbacks from 2000-06. He was the co-offensive coordinator in 2001 and 02, and helped lead the Hilltoppers to the Division I-AA national championship in 2002.

Taggart also is one of the most prolific athletes in Western Kentucky history. Taggart was the top rushing quarterback in Division I-AA history with 3,997 yards in his career. The total is also the top mark for all Western Kentucky rushers. He also broke the school record for points with 280.

In his final two seasons with the Hilltoppers, Taggart was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, which is given annually to the top offensive player in I-AA football. He was an All-American as a senior.

Taggart replaces David Elson, who was fired two weeks ago. The Hilltoppers are 0-10 overall and 0-6 in the Sun Belt Conference. They have lost 18 straight games dating to last year, the nation's longest active losing streak.

Elson agreed to finish the season. The Hilltoppers have remaining game against Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State.