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Students hope Taggart can turn the football program around

EUGENE, Ore. – After the University of Oregon announced it plans to hire Willie Taggart as the head football coach Wednesday, students expressed various reactions. Some say they’re excited; others say they’re cautiously optimistic.

“I looked him up and saw that he had 8 years of head coaching experience. I think he would be a really great addition to the team,” said Jackson Shotts, a freshman at the University of Oregon.

Shotts was one of many students watching social media closely Wednesday morning.

“Right when I woke up saw a post on Facebook,” said Gabriel Arreguin, another freshman who said he’s impressed by Taggart’s coaching experience.

“The wins have increased while he has been coaching over in Florida. So hopefully the same will happen here,” Arreguin said.

Other students said they’re looking forward to seeing an outsider in the coaching position.

“I think bringing someone from the complete opposite side of the country, something new, some new energy, will be awesome,” said Matteo, a freshman.

“It's definitely good to have someone from outside the program. They've had so many people within the program being moved up to head coach that it's cool to see someone different,” said Stephanie Cusano, a senior at the University of Oregon.

For some, Taggart wasn’t their first choice.

“The Western Michigan coach was in consideration. And they just had an undefeated season,” one student said.

Some are still holding onto the past.

“I'm still a little disappointed they fired Helfrich this year. But such is life,” said Vince Savelich, a longtime Duck fan.

But most are looking to the future.

“I'd say I'm optimistic about the program, about the direction it's heading,” Matteo said.

Whether they were excited about Taggart or not, everyone hopes he can turn the football program around.

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