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Willie Taggart rounds out 2022 coaching staff with new offensive, defensive coordinators

Offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon, veteran defensive coordinator Todd Orlando among 4 additions to Owls coaching staff
Todd Orlando, former Texas defensive coordinator, hired by FAU Owls
Posted at 8:43 AM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 08:49:08-05

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Florida Atlantic head coach Willie Taggart enters his third season in Boca Raton with four new assistants, including a veteran Power 5 defensive coordinator and a familiar face from Taggart's past.

Taggart announced the completion of his 2022 coaching staff Thursday with the hiring of offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon, defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, running backs coach Donte' Pimpleton and cornerbacks coach Brandon Harris.

Dearmon, who will also coach quarterbacks, spent last season as offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee and served in the same capacity at Kansas in 2020.

Orlando, who will also coach safeties, has been a defensive coordinator for 16 years at stops including Southern California and Texas. The longtime assistant coach most recently spent the pandemic-shortened 2020 season with the Trojans. He's also been defensive coordinator at Texas (2017-19), Connecticut (2005-10), Florida International (2011-12), Utah State (2013-14) and Houston (2015-16).

Pimpleton reunites with Taggart for the fifth time in their coaching careers. A former teammate of Taggart's at Western Kentucky, Pimpleton previously coached under Taggart at Florida State, Oregon, South Florida and their alma mater.

Florida State Seminoles running backs coach Donte' Pimpleton and Cam Akers during 2018 practice
Florida State running backs coach Donte' Pimpleton directs Cam Akers during the team's first spring practice, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Harris is the youngest of the four new coaches. The former Miami Hurricanes defensive back spent last season as an assistant cornerbacks coach and served as a defensive analyst at Florida State in 2020.

"I'm excited about the 2022 coaching staff," Taggart said in a statement. "It is a nice blend of coaches that I have worked with before and coaches that will bring different experiences to our meeting rooms and onto the field. Everybody is in place and has been getting to know our players, working diligently towards the upcoming signing class, and building for next season and beyond."

Taggart is 10-11 in two seasons at FAU. The Owls finished 5-7 last season after a 5-3 start. FAU failed to win a game in November, one season after the Owls went winless in December.

The Owls will open the 2022 season with their fourth new offensive and defensive coordinators in as many years.