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New Oregon coach Willie Taggart’s goal: be the first black head coach to win a national title

Oregon’s new head man wants to do something special.

NCAA Football: South Florida at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Willie Taggart is the new head coach at Oregon, an outstanding achievement for one of college football’s rising stars.

As head man of the Ducks, Taggart will get a unique chance to be at one of the premier brands in college football. It also helps Taggart get closer to what he says is his ultimate goal. It was on Taggart’s mind when he spoke to SB Nation for a profile last month.

“My goal has been the same since I started coaching: be the first African American head coach to win a national title,” Taggart told SB Nation’s Steven Godfrey. “I believe it can happen, I believe I can do it. I've never thought about the NFL. This [CFB] has always felt like a calling.”

Despite the fact that Taggart seems adamant about not going to the NFL, the first black coach to win a Super Bowl anecdotally signed off on the man who now holds the keys at Oregon.

Dungy resides in the Tampa area, and kicked up a little firestorm in central Florida by suggesting to McMurphy that Taggart would be a “good fit” in Eugene. Dungy is familiar with the culture as his son played at Oregon before transferring to USF to play his final season under Taggart. Some USF fans were unhappy with the comment, but Dungy doubled down on his support:

"People think I'm trying to send Coach Taggart out the door," Dungy said. "I'm not. Not at all. But Oregon is one of those places where you can win the national championship. My son went there and I know people who are out there, some of the decision makers.

"If they ask me about Coach Taggart, I'm not going to say, no, you don't want him, because I want him to stay at USF. Sure, I want him to stay at USF. But I'm going to tell them what I think."

If Taggart could join Dungy as the first black coaches to win titles at their respective levels, they’ll be forever linked in history as breaking one of sport's highest glass ceilings. That’s the goal at least.