Oregon has a new head coach in Willie Taggart and following the tradition of every head coaching hire ever, they held a celebratory coronation of an introductory press conference.
It’s hard to come out on the losing end of one of these pressers. The coach hasn’t lost a game yet, everyone’s normally happy they got rid of the last guy, etc. But this time, the press conference opened thusly:
Oregon president opens Taggart presser asking him to go get a good DC. No joke.
— Dan Rubenstein (@DanRubenstein) December 8, 2016
#Oregon president offers up his only football advice to new coach Willie Taggart: "Go out & find a great defensive coordinator."
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 8, 2016
Now, that might not sound too controversial, except for that Oregon still has a defensive coordinator in former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke. Taggart himself followed up with a similar sentiment:
Willie Taggart said he wants to “get a really good defensive coordinator. The best one we can get."
— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) December 8, 2016
Hoke had a rough first year as DC in Eugene, as the Ducks ranked 126th out of 128 FBS programs in scoring defense. That’s bad! That’s “school fires a head coach for the first time since 1976” bad. But my goodness, imagine you’re Brady Hoke. Seriously, go ahead and try to.
OK, you know you’re probably getting fired. But you haven’t heard anything definitive. It’s been a whirlwind few days for you. You turn on the press conference, maybe hoping for a vote of confidence, but probably expecting the typically evasive answers when reporters ask the inevitable questions about your own future. And within seconds, you’re getting slammed on all sides.
That has to hurt. Of course, you also have two years left on a contract with $1.8 million in guaranteed money, so that likely cushions the blow a bit. But it still had to hurt.
Poor Brady Hoke. Just like the 2016 Ducks, he wasn’t even able to defend himself.