Newberry tabs Taylor as new Head Basketball Coach

Newberry College Director of Athletics Ralph Patterson has selected Jason Taylor to serve as Newberry’s 25th head men’s basketball coach in program history.

“We were looking for the ‘total package,’ and we couldn’t be more pleased to have Jason lead our men’s basketball program,” Patterson said.  

“We were honored to receive more than 240 applications,” he continued. “We had an outstanding pool of candidates ranging from head and assistant coaches at all collegiate levels, professional coaches, international coaches and high school coaches. We even had former NCAA Division I coaches apply. Our group of finalists for the job was really special, but Jason stood out as the right man for the job.”

“I cannot begin to properly express how excited I am and what a blessing it is to be the next head coach at Newberry College,” said Taylor. “I want to thank President Scherrens for allowing me to have this opportunity and especially want to thank director of athletics Ralph Patterson for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. The leadership of those two along with the pride and passion everyone I met with and talked to has for Newberry College is what makes Newberry very special and makes me most excited.

“I also want to thank and acknowledge Dave Davis. It’s truly an honor for me to be following someone I have so much respect for. Coach Davis leaves big shoes to fill but his footprint on the campus and in the community is immeasurable; it’s been humbling to learn of the impact he’s made during his time at Newberry. My family cannot wait to join and support the incredible coaching staff we have at Newberry and we are looking forward to being a part of the amazing Newberry community.”

Taylor rose to prominence as the head coach of Anderson University, shepherding the program from Conference Carolinas into the South Atlantic Conference and leading the Trojans to four NCAA Tournament bids, including an Elite Eight run in 2011.

Anderson won a SAC regular season title in 2011-12 with a 17-1 league record, setting a SAC record for wins and winning percentage and becoming the first team in league history to go 9-0 on the road in conference play. The 26 overall wins set a school record and helped Taylor win SAC and Southeast Region Coach of the Year awards as the Trojans advanced to the Sweet 16.

In his nine seasons at Anderson, Taylor led the Trojans to six winning seasons, four NCAA Tournaments, four 20-win seasons, and compiled an overall record of 157-113. He coached a Division II Men’s Basketball Academic All-American of the Year, an NCAA Elite 88 Award winner, four consecutive SAC Scholar-Athletes, a SAC Player of the Year, and 15 all-conference performers. His .763 winning percentage (58-18 record) in five years in the SAC is the second-highest in league history behind Lincoln Memorial’s Josh Schertz.

“Jason took teams to two Sweet 16’s and an Elite Eight,” Patterson continued, “but more importantly, he is a high character man that truly cares about his student-athletes. He will mentor and coach his players and lead them to success on the court and to graduation. We welcome Jason and his soon-to-be bride, Monica, to Newberry College.”

“Coach Taylor brings a wealth of experience at not only the DI and DII level, but also a great deal of success as a SAC head coach,” added President Dr. Maurice Scherrens. “It is his commitment to doing things the right way and his belief that Newberry College can achieve conference, regional and national prominence that makes him so attractive as our new head coach.”

Taylor has spent the last four seasons on staff at Tennessee Tech, the last two as the Golden Eagles’ Associate Head Coach. He helped the team to a pair of 19-win seasons and the third-most Ohio Valley Conference wins behind perennial NCAA Tournament contender Belmont and Ja Morant-led Murray State.

Of the 31 players that exhausted their eligibility at Anderson during Taylor’s tutelage, 30 of his players graduated. He helped guide his players toward mentoring programs, basketball youth camps, cleaning projects, and other community service initiatives.

Taylor’s career began at Roane State Community College in Tennessee, where he served for two seasons as an assistant coach and adjunct professor of Physical Education. He then spent three seasons as an assistant coach and head JV coach at Anderson before beginning a nine-year stint as the Trojans’ head coach.

He graduated from Jacksonville State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Education, two years after he earned an Associate of Science from Roane State. He helped Jacksonville State to a 17-11 record during the 1999-2000 season, its first winning season as a Division I institution.

Taylor’s official duties with the Newberry program will begin on July 16.

“To every Newberry alumni, supporter, and fan; I hope to meet you all and I promise to lead a program you can support with pride. Go Wolves!”

Story Courtesy: Randall Stewart, Newberry Director of Athletic Communications

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