The guy has credentials. So why can't he do the job in Hamilton?
Charlie Taaffe is in his fifth season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Maryland Terrapins.
Since Taaffe's arrival, the Terps have earned the respect of opponents with a balanced attack that can beat opponents both on the ground and through the air. Last season was the offense's toughest in the last four years, but the season still produced a near-win on the road against the nation's No. 7 team (West Virginia) and the school's first-ever victory over Florida State, then ranked No. 5. A year earlier, Taaffe helped guide the Terps through a myriad of injury problems to finish the season ranked in the top 30 nationally in four offensive categories (rushing (24th), total offense (28th), scoring (27th) and pass efficiency (26th)). It was a season that began with some difficulty, but ended with Maryland rolling to an average 514.6 yards of offense in its last five games.
In 2002, the Terps set a school record for points scored with 451 while finishing second in the ACC in rushing (198.8 ypg) and scoring (32.2 ppg) offense. Taaffe helped guide quarterback Scott McBrien from what seemed like a possible early season liability into an honorable mention all-league performer who finished 12th nationally in pass efficiency.
In his first year, Taaffe was able to steer Maryland to 390 points (then a school record as well), or an average of 35.5 per outing. The Terps' 439.7 yards of total offense per game were tops in the ACC. Taaffe's expertise in the option helped the team to an average of 220.7 yards per game on the ground, second-best in the league. From an individual standpoint, Shaun Hill flourished at quarterback, becoming the leader of the offense en route to a second team All-ACC selection.
Before making his way to Maryland, Taaffe spent two years with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, where he served as head coach in 1999 and 2000. With Taaffe at the helm, the Alouettes had a combined 25-14 record (back-to-back 12-6 regular seasons and a 1-2 playoff record) and advanced to the 2000 Grey Cup finals. For his efforts in 1999 and 2000, Taaffe was named CFL Coach of the Year, making him only the second Montreal coach to earn such distinction (Marv Levy being the first in 1974) and the first coach in league history to earn the honor in each of his first two years. He also earned the same distinction from the Canadian Football Writers Association. All together, Taaffe spent four years in Montreal, as he served two years as the Alouettes' offensive coordinator before taking over as head coach.
While in Canada, Taaffe's offenses put up some lofty numbers. In 2000, the Alouettes broke the all-time league record for points in a regular season as they posted 594. Taaffe helped quarterback Anthony Calvillo to a 112.9 pass efficiency rating in 2000 after a 108.9 rating led the league. Former Boston College back Mike Pringle also excelled in Taaffe's system, as he ran for a league-best 1,656 yards in 1999.
Prior to his stint north of the border, Taaffe was the head coach at The Citadel from 1987-96. Taaffe took the Bulldogs to new heights in his 10 years with the Division I-AA school as he won more games than any coach in the history of the school. Prior to his tenure, The Citadel had not won a league game or road game in more than two seasons. Under Taaffe, the Bulldogs won a Southern Conference championship, finished a regular season (1992) ranked No. 1 in the country and advanced to the Division I-AA playoffs three times. He was the 1992 recipient of the Eddie Robinson Award (which recognizes the top coach in Division I-AA), the Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 1988 and `90, and the Kodak Region II Coach of the Year in those same seasons. In addition, his teams beat six different Division I-A opponents (in 12 tries), including upsets of South Carolina (1990) and Arkansas (1992), and four of his teams were ranked in the final national I-AA poll (14th in 1988; 15th in 1990; 20th in 1991; 1st in 1992).
His 1992 team was arguably the best in The Citadel's history as it finished 11-2, was the top ranked team at the end of the regular season, and fell to the eventual champ (Youngstown State) in the quarterfinals. For his efforts in '92, Taaffe was named AFCA Division I-AA National Coach of the Year. His overall record at The Citadel was 55-47-1, with six seasons of .500 or better.
Taaffe came to The Citadel after a successful stint as an offensive assistant at the U.S. Military Academy from 1981-86. In the three years Taaffe served as Army's offensive coordinator, the Cadets had a combined record of 23-13.
Taaffe's ties to the Atlantic Coast Conference are strong. Before his stint at The Citadel, Taaffe coached at three different ACC schools for a total of seven years. From 1976-80, he was an assistant at Virginia where he coached the offensive backfield, linebackers and special teams. His position with the Cavaliers came on the heels of graduate assistantships with NC State (1975, backs) and Georgia Tech (1974, receivers).
The 1973 season was Taaffe's first as a coach at the collegiate level as he was an offensive backfield coach at Albany (N.Y.) State College. The position came right after his graduation from Siena College in Siena, N.Y., where he was a quarterback for three years and earned a B.A. in education in 1973. He was inducted into Siena's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.