Charlie Taaffe is in his sixth campaign as UCF's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2014. During his UCF tenure, the Knights have won 46 total contests in just five seasons and have appeared in four bowl games with three victories.
One of those bowl wins closed out the most historic season for UCF as the Knights and their offense thumped Baylor, 52-42, in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl to conclude the 2013 season. They ended the campaign ranked No. 10 in the AP Top 25 Poll, the highest mark ever for the Black and Gold.
With American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP Blake Bortles under center in 2013, UCF posted two wins over top-10 teams en route to averaging 34.6 points and 441.5 yards per game. That 441.5 mark was the Knights' highest average in 15 years.
With Taaffe leading the signal-caller during his career, Bortles evolved from a recruit who barely had any offers out of high school to the highest NFL Draft pick in UCF history as he was taken third overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Along with Bortles' impressive accolades, both running backs (Storm Johnson and William Stanback), three offensive linemen (Jordan McCray, Justin McCray and Chris Martin) and one wide receiver (J.J. Worton) picked up postseason honors from The American.
En route to a Conference USA East Division title, a win in the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl and a 10-4 record, UCF experienced plenty of success on the offensive side of the ball in 2012. The Knights averaged 35.4 points per game, good for second in C-USA and fifth in UCF history. The 496 total points were just six shy of the all-time record, while it did set the school mark with 61 offensive touchdowns.
On the ground, UCF rushed for 33 touchdowns which ranked fourth since the program's inception in 1979, and Latavius Murray pounded out 1,106 yards and 15 touchdowns, which were the second-most in a single season. He went on to be selected by Oakland in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
In the air, the Knights had the most passing yards (3,158) and touchdowns (28) since 2002, and tied the school record for fewest interceptions with seven. Bortles was selected to the All-C-USA Second Team, giving UCF its first all-conference quarterback dating back to its first season in a league (MAC) in 2002.
Bortles also was voted as the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl MVP, and he finished the year by setting a school record with 174-straight attempts without throwing a pick (ended in 2013 at 232). Along with Bortles, Murray (first team), center Jordan Rae (first team) and tackle Torrian Wilson (second team) were voted on to C-USA's first or second teams, and receiver Breshad Perriman grabbed a spot on the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
With Taaffe at the helm in 2011, UCF's offense averaged 406.8 yards of total offense a game. The Black and Gold also rushed for 27 touchdowns.
Led by four offensive all-conference honorees in linemen Nick Pieschel, Theo Goins and Rae as well as tight end Adam Nissley, the Knights outscored opponents 197-47 at home in 2011. Bortles, Wilson and Worton were all voted onto the C-USA All-Freshman Team, as Worton set a UCF freshman record with 41 receptions.
In 2010, Taaffe helped UCF record one of its top seasons in program history. The Knights went 11-3, claimed the C-USA Championship and defeated Georgia in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The bowl win was the first for the Knights. UCF entered the national rankings for the first time, and finished the campaign 20th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 21st in the Associated Press Top 25.
Offensively, UCF averaged 32.1 points per game during the year, up from 26.2 in 2009. The Knights scored at least 35 points on eight occasions. Taaffe helped mentor quarterback Jeff Godfrey, who was named the C-USA Freshman of the Year and garnered freshman All-America honors. Godfrey started the final 12 games of the year and led all freshmen in the country with a 66.8 completion percentage. He was one of just three true freshman quarterbacks nationally who led his team to a bowl victory. In Taaffe's offense, Godfrey set several UCF single-season records, including rushing yards by a quarterback, rushing touchdowns by a freshman quarterback and passing yards by a true freshman quarterback.
Taaffe's impact on the UCF offense was instant and significant in 2009 as the Knights made one of the five largest improvements in the nation from 2008 to 2009. UCF's total offensive average went from 229.5 yards per game in 2008 to 340.8. The Knights' passing attack in particular saw a great boost, improving from 116.2 yards per game in 2008 to 210.3. UCF scored an additional 10 points per game on average, jumping from 16.6 to 26.2. It all added up to an 8-5 record and berth in the St. Petersburg Bowl after going 4-8 the previous year.
Taaffe came to Orlando after spending two seasons in the Canadian Football League where he served as the head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He brought over 35 years of coaching experience to the UCF staff.
In addition to his time with the Tiger-Cats, Taaffe served as the head coach at The Citadel from 1987-96 and with the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL from 1999-00.
Taaffe also coached full-time on the college level from 2001-05, serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Maryland. In his first campaign with the Terrapins, he helped guide the program to the 2001 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship and a spot in the FedEx Orange Bowl. In each of his first two seasons at Maryland, the Terps broke their school record for scoring, registering 390 points in 2001 and then 451 points the following year.
Maryland played in three bowl games during Taaffe's tenure, recording victories in the 2001 Peach Bowl over Tennessee and the 2004 Gator Bowl versus West Virginia. Under Taaffe's tutelage, quarterbacks Shaun Hill and Scott McBrien both garnered All-ACC honors. Taaffe spent the 2006 season at Pittsburgh as an offensive assistant.
While serving as Montreal's head coach, Taaffe was the CFL Coach of the Year in both 1999 and 2000. Montreal advanced to the CFL East Division title game in 1999. In his final campaign with the Alouettes, Taaffe guided the squad to the 2000 Grey Cup final. Taaffe also worked as the team's offensive coordinator from 1997-98 before taking over as head coach.
From 1987-96, he posted a 55-47-1 mark as the head coach at The Citadel, winning more games than any other head coach at the college. His best year came in 1992 when the Bulldogs went 11-2, advancing to the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals. That year, The Citadel concluded the regular season ranked No. 1 in the nation and Taaffe was named the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year.
While at The Citadel, he led the Bulldogs to victories over Football Bowl Subdivision teams on six occasions, including upsets of South Carolina and Arkansas. Four of his squads were ranked in the final FCS poll. In both 1988 and 1990 Taaffe was named both the Southern Conference Coach of the Year and the Kodak Region II Coach of the Year.
Taaffe was the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and running backs coach at various points in his tenure at Army from 1981-86. Taaffe's time at West Point included berths in the 1984 Cherry Bowl and the 1985 Peach Bowl, the only time that the Black Knights have played in consecutive bowl games. In the three years that Taaffe served as Army's offensive coordinator, the team posted a combined record of 23-13.
Taaffe was also an assistant at Virginia (1976-80), NC State (1975), Georgia Tech (1974) and Albany (1973). After starting his collegiate career at Clemson, Taaffe played quarterback at Siena from 1970-72. He received his bachelor's degree in education in 1973 and was inducted into the school's athletics hall of fame in 1990.
Taaffe and his wife, Jan, have a son Brian, who was a quarterback for the Knights in 2009.
UCF, 2009-Present Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks
Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 2007-08 Head Coach
Pittsburgh, 2006 Offensive Assistant
Maryland, 2001-05 Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Montreal Alouettes, 1997-00 Head Coach (1999-00), Offensive Coordinator (1997-98)
The Citadel, 1987-96 Head Coach
Army, 1981-86 Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks, Running Backs
Virginia, 1976-80 Running Backs, Linebackers, Special Teams
NC State, 1975 Graduate Assistant
Georgia Tech, 1974 Graduate Assistant
Albany, 1973 Running Backs