When Jim and John Harbaugh coach against each other at the Super Bowl, USF head football coach Willie Taggart will be there watching. His relationship with the Harbaugh family started nearly twenty years ago.
It was 1993. Taggart was starring at quarterback for Manatee High School. Western Kentucky coach Jack Harbaugh had his son Jim, who was then an NFL quarterback, make a recruiting call to Taggart.
"I came home from track practice and my sister said, ‘A guy named Jim Harbaugh called from Western Kentucky University,'" Taggart said. He knew the name sounded familiar. "So I call him back and he asked if I knew who he was. The only Jim Harbaugh I knew played for the Chicago Bears. And he said, ‘That's me.' And I was like, ‘Yeah, right.'"
Taggart was later convinced. He went to Western Kentucky and started at quarterback for the Hilltoppers for four seasons. He later worked on coaching staffs with Jack, John and Jim Harbaugh.
Jim was even the best man in Taggart's wedding.
"I tell people now, they're like my brothers from another mother," Taggart said. "They make a difference in people's lives and not just from a football standpoint. They genuinely care about their players, and it starts with their mom and dad."
Taggart doesn't see too much difference between the Harbaugh siblings. "I think Jim shows his emotions a little more. Both of them are highly, highly competitive smart guys. I think this Super Bowl is going to be one of the best Super Bowl's we've seen, especially from a coaching standpoint. When you watch the 49ers, and you watch the Ravens, then you'll see the Jack Harbaugh way of playing football."
Who will Taggart be cheering for in the Super Bowl? "I'm pulling for coach Harbaugh," he said.
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