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Bertani, Taggart and Frankin on radio

As the Miami Heat race toward an NBA title, the Maroone High School Gridiron Report kicks off summer in grand style on Thursday night with a special coaching show.

Joining Larry Blustein from 9-10 p.m. on WQAM (560 AM) will be North Miami Beach High veteran head coach Jeff Bertani, Western Kentucky head coach Willie Taggart and Vanderbilt head man James Franklin.

WKU and Vanderbilt both use South Florida as a hub for recruiting.

After watching his father (Fred) coach at NMB, Bertani went on to play quarterback for the Chargers and returned to coach his alma mater. Something he has done successfully over the past two decades.

From producing NFL talent to sending many players off to college, Bertani's programs have been admired by fellow coaches and players for getting his teams ready.

With a very young team coming into the 2011 season, Bertani and his team have their work cut out.

With the program struggling and looking for a direction, Western Kentucky University called one of their own on November 23, 2009.  In his first season as head coach, Taggart helped lead WKU to road wins at Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State and running back Bobby Rainey was named Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year after ranking third in the nation in rushing (137.4 yards per game/1,649 total rushing yards). 

Before joining the Hilltoppers, Taggart served as running backs coach at Stanford from 2007-09.  He previously spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at WKU from 1999-2006 and served as co-offensive coordinator for WKU’s 2002 I-AA National Championship team.  A standout player at quarterback who set 11 school records for the Hilltoppers from 1995-98, Taggart is one of only four players in WKU’s 92-year football history to have his jersey retired. 

He became WKU’s 17th head football coach, but only the seventh since 1948.

Taggart, who joined the Stanford coaching staff following a 1-11 season in 2006, was instrumental in the development of the Cardinal offense and running game.  Stanford, ranked as high as 14th in the nation by the Associated Press in 2009, posted an 8-4 regular season record with wins over nationally ranked Southern Cal and Oregon. 

One of the top offensive coordinators and recruiters in the nation stepped into a program on the rise, and everyone in Nashville is excited about what Franklin, his staff and players are going to accomplish in the toughest conference in America.

Franklin, assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at the University of Maryland, is the 27th head coach in Commodore football history.

A native of Langhorne, Pa., the 39-year-old Franklin becomes the first minority head coach to lead the Vanderbilt football program.

Franklin spent eight years on the coaching staff at Maryland, including the last three seasons as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.

Franklin was a four-year letter winner at quarterback for East Stroudsburg University from 1991 to 1994. He was a two-time All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference selection. As a senior he garnered team MVP honors and was a Harlon Hill Trophy nominee for NCAA Division II Player of the Year after setting seven school records, including single-season marks for total offense (3,128), passing yards (2,586) and TD passes (19).

If you can't catch the show live on www.wqam.com, don't miss any of this impressive show, which will be archived at http://sfhighschoolsports.com.