Taggart adds Pratt, Maslowski to football staff

Head Coach Willie Taggart has stressed his recruiting while noting that Western is in his DNA.

So it’s no coincidence that A.J. Pratt, a known recruiter and former Kent State coach, and Karl Maslowski, a former standout linebacker for the Toppers, were announced to Taggart’s staff Friday.

“Everyone I talk to, the first thing they say is, ‘(Pratt) is going to recruit. He’s going to get some players there,'” Taggart said. “It’s like one of the first things they say is, ‘He’s going to get some players in there for you, coach,’ and I’m like ‘Yeah, that’s what I’m looking for.

“Then getting Karl out there. You go back to my first day of the job when I said Western is in my DNA. Well, it’s in his, too.”

Maslowski, who said his wife is from Bowling Green and his father-in-law is former track and field coach Curtiss Long, said he welcomed a return after two years at Miami of Ohio.

“It’s a really good situation to come back to,” Maslowski said. ”

Maslowski started at linebacker for the final nine games of Western’s 2002 NCAA Championship team and will specialize at that spot as a coach.

Pratt will coach tackles and tight ends, assisting Walter Wells with the offense.

A known recruiter, Pratt said pitching the idea of Western Kentucky University to his own family may have been his toughest recruiting task yet.

“My best home visit I’ve ever done was in the Pratt house five days ago with my 7-year-old son,” Pratt said. “Because these guys he’s been around, they’ve his heroes so he thought there was one school and it was the mecca.

“So I sat down and got the computer out like it was a home visit and we looked at the virtual tour of Western Kentucky. He was pumping his fists…by the time I left.”

With just over a week remaining before National Signing Day, Taggart said he expects Pratt and Maslowski to hit the road until Feb. 3.

After that, Maslowski said he’s ready to “change the culture” of the Western football program and return to winning — just how it was throughout his four-year career as a Topper.

“It needs a good shot in the veins to get it going again,” Maslowski said. “The biggest goal for us is to turn it back around. Not only to get it where it was as a 1-AA program, but to go past that as a (Football Bowl Subdivision) program.”

Jonathan Lintner

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