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Father of Oregon football coach Willie Taggart passes away

New Oregon Ducks Head Coach Willie Taggart looks back at his team after the conclusion of the 2017 Spring Game. The 2017 Oregon Ducks Spring Game provided fans their first look at the team under new Head Coach Willie Taggart’s direction. Team Free defeated Team Brave 34-11 on a sunny day at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. Photo by Austin Hicks, Oregon News Lab

Oregon football head coach Willie Taggart announced on Twitter Thursday evening that his father, John Taggart, had passed away:

John Taggart had been ill for several weeks, according to the Oregon head coach, who had flown back to Tampa to be with him prior to the Pac-12 Media Days two weeks ago.

John Taggart was reportedly known for his unmatched work ethic, and his son repeatedly claimed that much of his competitive drive comes from his father.

"If he didn't go to work, he wouldn't know what to do with himself," Willie Taggart told CSNNW.

University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, a close friend of Willie Taggart, tweeted his condolences:

Before his passing, John Taggart had planned to attend the Oregon Ducks' opening game against Southern Utah in Eugene on September 2.

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