9th Annual MAC Matters Gala – “Do Something Big”

The Meade Activity Center is proud to announce that Florida State University Football Coach Willie Taggart will be the guest of honor at the 9th Annual MAC Matters Gala on Tuesday, April 24th. The MAC is proud to count Coach Taggart as the ninth keynote speaker at this prestigious event.  Previous guests of honor include WKU Men’s Basketball Coach Rick Stansbury, actor & comedian Chris Tucker, US Track & Field Gold Medalist Michael Johnson, entrepreneur and philanthropist Todd Wagner, tennis great Monica Seles, solo artist and member of the Eagles Don Henley, former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, and PGA Golfer Kenny Perry.

Willie Taggart is considered one of the best offensive minds in the country and a relentless recruiter. He returns to the Sunshine State, where he was the head coach at the University of South Florida from 2013-2016. Taggart has led remarkable turnarounds at each of his three previous head coaching positions. At Oregon he took over a team that finished 4-8 the previous season and lead them to a hot start including a 77-21 win in his first game in Eugene. The Ducks started out the season with a 5-1 record and completed a 7-5 regular season.

Before his tenure at Oregon, Taggart returned to his hometown Tampa Bay area to take over a South Florida team that won two games in 2012, and turned the Bulls into one of the most exciting programs in the country by 2016. In his final year at the helm in Tampa, Taggart led South Florida to a 10-2 record and No. 25 ranking in the final regular season poll, the team’s first ranking since 2011.

Taggart’s first head coaching job was one of the most difficult reclamation projects in the country, taking over his alma mater that had lost 20 games in a row. He quickly led Western Kentucky to its first two winning seasons since transitioning from FCS to FBS, and in 2012 saw the program reach its first bowl game. The Hilltoppers had a 12-2 stretch from Oct. 2011 through Oct. 2012 with their only two losses coming to No.1-ranked LSU and top-ranked Alabama.

Taggart transitioned to coaching after authoring a playing career that ranks among the best in school history. He was the program’s starting quarterback all four years and broke 11 school records, highlighted by his 47 rushing touchdowns, and left school holding the NCAA Division I record for rushing yards by a quarterback. He earned his bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Western Kentucky in 1998.

Taggart and his wife, Taneshia, have two sons, Willie Jr. and Jackson, and one daughter, Morgan.

The annual goal of the MAC Gala is to raise capital that supports the mission of the Meade Activity Center.  Most importantly, proceeds directly impact those less fortunate, and fund the MAC Financial Assistance program that provides fitness and recreational opportunities for people of all ages, abilities, and incomes.  In addition to a presentation with Willie Taggart, the Gala will feature a gourmet dinner, complimentary cocktail service, and a silent & live auction.  Tickets will go on sale later this month at a cost of $100 per person.

More info to come about individual ticket sales, table sales, and sponsorship opportunities.