When Willie Taggart accepted the head coaching position in Western Kentucky University's football program, he knew he had an uphill battle. Taggart took over after WKU had moved into Division I-A football in the Sun Belt Conference. A WKU alumnus and former record-setting quarterback for the Hilltoppers, he came to WKU two years ago to coach when morale was low and the team was struggling to win. During the 2011 season, Taggart and his team started winning some tough conference games. The Hilltoppers ended at 7-5, winning seven of their final eight games and seven straight in SBC play. The program's turnaround is beyond commendable. It is a true success story. We believe the administration took the right step by giving him a significant raise and a contract extension. Taggart will make a $475,000 base salary — up from $225,000. His contract has also been extended through 2019. The contract also stated he can receive a 15 percent base-salary increase should the Hilltoppers reach eight wins in any season and a 5 percent increase should WKU win eight or more in any subsequent season. A number of other incentives were included; assistant coaches' salaries will be increased by 20 percent. We believe that the best days of this young coach are ahead of him, and we commend WKU for acting decisively to send a tangible message that the university wants him to be a part of Hilltoppers football for the long term.