FAU Football: Head coach Willie Taggart to make changes in coaching staff

Chris Perkins, Stanford Samuels Jr., and Jon Bills are the assistant coaches being relieved of their duties.


Eston Parker III

Willie Taggart (pictured middle) has three positions on his staff to fill out after letting go of Chris Perkins, Stanford Samuels Jr., and Jon Bills.

Kevin Garcia, Staff Writer

The FAU football team will be parting ways with running backs coach Chris Perkins, cornerbacks coach Stanford Samuels Jr. and tight ends coach Jon Bills, a spokesperson from FAU Athletics confirmed. 

Head coach Willie Taggart is making these changes on the heels of a disappointing 2021 season for the Owls. They finished with a 5-7 overall record, losing their last four games. 

Perkins had been with FAU since 2017 when then-head coach Lane Kiffin hired him as a player development assistant. Perkins was promoted to running backs coach in December 2019, where he has served since. FAU’s rushing attack was solid in 2021, averaging 151.6 yards per game, good for 73rd in the nation, and 4.1 yards per carry, which is ranked 74th in the nation. 

Samuels Jr. worked with Taggart before at Florida State University (FSU) and was brought in to be the cornerbacks coach at FAU in 2020. FAU’s cornerbacks accounted for eight interceptions out of 13 total—the latter being as high as 28th nationally—in the 2021 season. 

Bills, also familiar with Taggart, got the tight ends coaching job in February prior to the 2021 season. FAU’s tight ends finished the year with 29 catches, a significant increase from just four receptions in a shortened 2020 season. 

Perkins and Bills were on opposite sides of each other at the spring game in March. Bills’ team defeated Perkins’ in that matchup 23-18

These changes were not the only changes made to the coaching staff in 2021 as Taggart promoted NFL legend Hines Ward to wide receivers coach following the Owls’ 30-16 loss to Old Dominion in November. 

Kevin Garcia is a Staff Writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email him [email protected] or follow him on twitter @kevingar658.