As someone who has always either played or coached college football for over a quarter of century, first-year FAU coach Willie Taggart prefers not to think about a fall without the sport.
Taggart remains hopeful the Owls will play this year.
“The more we understand what’s going on, the better things will be. It’s hard to tell right now. We’ll leave that up to scientists and the ones who’ll make the right decisions. Most importantly, let’s make sure we’re all healthy,” Taggart recently said in an interview with ESPN West Palm.
Just as the rest of the sports world, the pandemic has created some obstacles leading into what is supposed to be Taggart’s first season in Boca, after being hired last December.
The Owls spring football practices were suspended March 13, just 10 days before they were scheduled to start.
Owl fans, we know you miss football as much as we do, so we’re launching the Best Plays of 2019 Bracket! 🏈
Each day we’ll release a new match-up for you to vote on!
— FAU Football (@FAU_Football) March 31, 2020
Instead, FAU has had to use Zoom to install its game plans while strength and conditioning coach Joey Guarascio has been giving players workout routines in order to stay in the best shape possible.
Still, if the season was to happen, Taggart believes his players would need about a month-and-a-half of practice and workouts before being ready to actually play.
“It’s tough, but I would say at least six weeks to get guys going, be able to work out a little bit and get guys back in shape,” he explains. “It will be an adjustment. We as Americans will have to adjust and do what’s right, but most importantly take care of each other.”
Meanwhile, the university plans to continue with remote instruction through at least Aug. 7.
Coach Taggart has been impressed with how players have adapted to online coursework. He says, “Our guys understand it’s always going to be important as long as I’m the head football coach that they take care of business from an academic standpoint.”