Jan. 5, 2009
Trooper Taylor, the co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Oklahoma State this past season, has been named assistant head coach and wide receivers coach at Auburn, announced head coach Gene Chizik Monday.
Prior to his stint at Oklahoma State, Taylor was on staff at Tennessee from 2004-07, where he served as receivers coach from 2006-07 and running backs coach in 2004-05. From 2005-07 he was also the assistant head coach/player development.
"This is a great opportunity to join Coach Chizik at Auburn and be a part of a dynamic offensive staff that he has put together," Taylor said. "I'm excited to be coaching at a program like Auburn and return to the Southeastern Conference."
This past season, Taylor helped Oklahoma State produce instant results as the Cowboy offense produced two first-team All-Americans in wide receiver Dez Bryant and running back Kendall Hunter.
Bryant earned consensus All-America honors after having 87 receptions for 1,480 yards and a school-record 19 touchdowns. A Biletnikoff Award finalist and a first-team All-Big 12 selection and academic all-conference member, Bryant led the Big 12 in receiving and was third nationally this season. Hunter meanwhile rushed for 1,555 yards and 16 scores with nine 100-yard rushing games.
"Trooper is an outstanding wide receivers coach and has had a long line of players that have flourished under his direction," head coach Gene Chizik said. "He's been successful at every stop as a coach, has a strong knowledge of the Southeastern Conference and is a tremendous recruiter."
With Taylor serving as co-offensive coordinator, the 2008 Oklahoma State offense not only produced the runner-up for the Biletnikoff Award, but also boasted a finalist for the Manning Award presented to the nation's top quarterback (Zac Robinson) and a finalist for the Mackey Award presented to the nation's top tight end (Brandon Pettigrew).
Nationally known for his prowess on the recruiting trail, Taylor was recognized by Rivals.com as a top-25 recruiter in 2005 and 2007.
In 2006 at Tennessee, Taylor coached future NFL wide receiver Robert Meachem to All-America honors. That season, the Vols receiving trio of Jayson Swain, Bret Smith and Robert Meachem tallied a combined 159 receptions for 2,439 yards and 22 touchdowns. With all three players gone in 2007, Taylor took the new pass-catching trio of Lucas Taylor, Austin Rogers and Josh Briscoe under his wing, with the three combining for 175 catches for 2,130 yards and 14 touchdowns.
He also directed the Vols running backs from 2004-05, coaching Cedric Houston and Gerald Riggs Jr., who became Tennessee's only pair of 1,000-yard rushers in the same season, in 2004.
Taylor accepted the appointment of assistant head coach for player development at Tennessee in 2005. In that capacity, he managed the academic and social direction and development of student-athletes in conjunction with their position coaches and the coordinators.
While at Tennessee, he helped the program make appearances at the 2005 Cotton Bowl, the 2007 Outback Bowl and the 2008 Outback Bowl.
Taylor came to Knoxville after coaching receivers at Tulane from 1999-2003. He coached four wideouts into the NFL during his tenure in New Orleans, including the nation's top receiving trio in 2001 of Adrian Burnette, Kerwin Cook and Terrell Harris. They combined to lead the country with 2,384 receiving yards on 185 catches.
He spent two years as a graduate assistant at Baylor before being named wide receivers coach in 1994. He then coached Baylor's secondary for two years before returning to the wide receivers for one year. Prior to signing on at Tulane, Taylor spent the 1998 season as running backs coach at New Mexico.
Taylor played defensive back at Baylor from 1988-91 and finished his playing career as the school's leader in kickoff returns (53) and return yardage (1,063). He graduated from Baylor in 1992.
Born Feb. 20, 1970 in Cuero, Texas and raised in a family of 16, Taylor is married to the former Evi Crosby of Harbor City, Calif. He and his wife, who was a track and field scholarship athlete at Baylor, were wed in 1993 on the football playing field at Floyd Casey Stadium. They have a son, Blaise, and a daughter, Starr.