Nicholls State University men’s basketball head coach Richie Riley announced the addition of Matthew Taylor as director of operations.
Taylor comes to Nicholls after stints as head coach at St. Catharine College and head recruiting coordinator at NAIA powerhouse University of Pikeville. Taylor helped guide the Pikeville Bears to back-to-back Mid South Conference Championships, as well as the program’s best single season in team history (31-3). The two programs reached the postseason a total of three times with UPIKE making two appearances in the NAIA National Tournament, while St. Catharine made the tournament once. He also played a key role as an assistant coach / head recruiting coordinator at Union College (2009-10) and St. Catharine College (2010 and 2012).
In the recruiting circuit, Taylor has been responsible for signing 28 NCAA Division I transfers, including a national and co-national player of the year and three conference players of the year. Among the transfers, 25 went on to earn either all-conference and all-American recognition, highlighted by No. 1 one prospect Jamar “Deuce” Briscoe.
“I have known Matt for nine years and we worked together at the University of Pikeville. He brings a wealth of knowledge from his experience as a head coach at St. Catharine and I love the energy he is going to bring to our program,” Riley said. “He is not only passionate about being the best coach that he can be, but also mentoring our student-athletes to be great both on and off the court. I have always considered Matt to be family and I am thrilled to have him on our staff.”
Before coaching at the college ranks, Taylor served as head coach of Caverna High School (Ky.) for one season. While there, he coached the nation’s leading scorer – Mr. Basketball runner-up Mason Faulkner, and guided the Colonels to a district championship. In 2005, Taylor directed Rowan County High School to its 16th regional championship and sweet 16 appearance.
An all-region basketball player at Fleming Neon High, Taylor continued his career at NCAA Division II Virginia Wise where he played three seasons before transferring. He went on to graduate from Alice Lloyd College in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in history. Taylor earned a master’s in education from Union College in 2011 and is currently pursuing a second master’s in business.
“I am incredibly excited to be a part of Nicholls State University and Coach Riley’s staff. I have known Coach Riley for years, I have always admired and looked to him as a mentor and proud to call him a friend,” Taylor said. “Fortunate doesn’t describe this opportunity to be a part of his staff. I am grateful to be working with Coach Riley again, and excited for the future of Nicholls Basketball and growing to be a part of this community.”