The Baltimore Ravens have hired longtime college coach Willie Taggart to oversee their running backs, the team announced Wednesday.
Taggart is the former head coach at Florida State, Oregon, Western Kentucky, South Florida and Florida Atlantic, which he led for the past three seasons before being fired in November. He had been set to join Colorado’s staff under coach Deion Sanders but instead will take on an NFL job for the first time.
Taggart will take over for Craig Ver Steeg, who has coached the Ravens’ running backs for the past three seasons. Ver Steeg, who has been on the Ravens’ staff since John Harbaugh’s first season in Baltimore in 2008, could get reassigned to a different role.
“We are excited to welcome Willie to the Ravens as our running backs coach,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “Willie has been a highly successful and respected college assistant and head coach. He has a proven track record for developing players as a position coach, as an offensive coordinator and as a head coach. A leader and a highly effective motivator, Willie’s reputation for building strong relationships with his players and fellow coaches will serve our offense well moving forward.”
The Ravens return top running back J.K. Dobbins, who is entering his contract season. After missing the 2021 season with a knee injury, Dobbins averaged 99.3 yards rushing and 7.0 yards per carry in his last four games this past season.
The Ravens also announced that wide receivers coach Tee Martin will now be the team’s quarterbacks coach.
Baltimore could make additional changes to its offensive staff under new coordinator Todd Monken.
Taggart, 46, went 15-18 at Florida Atlantic after a 9-12 record in less than two seasons at Florida State. He’s 71-80 overall as a college head coach, including a 10-win season at South Florida in 2016.
Taggart played for and later coached under Jack Harbaugh, the father of Ravens coach John Harbaugh, at Western Kentucky. He also worked for John Harbaugh’s brother, Jim, at Stanford from 2007 to 2009 before landing his first head-coaching job at Western Kentucky.
The 2009 season marked Taggart’s most recent as an assistant — he coached Stanford’s running backs that fall. A star quarterback for Western Kentucky, Taggart began his coaching career working with wide receivers at his alma mater in 1999.
ESPN’s Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.