Joe Taylor (American football coach)

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Joe Taylor
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1950-05-07) May 7, 1950 (age 66)
Washington, D.C.
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1972–1977 H. D. Woodson HS (DC) (asst)
1978–1979 Eastern Illinois (OL)
1980–1981 Virginia Union (OC)
1982 Howard (DC)
1983 Howard
1984–1991 Virginia Union
1992–2007 Hampton
2008–2012 Florida A&M
Head coaching record
Overall 232–97–4
Bowls 1–0
Tournaments 1–5 (NCAA D-II playoffs)
0–5 (NCAA D-I-AA playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
4 Black college national (1995, 2004–2006)
4 CIAA (1986, 1992–1994)
6 MEAC (1997–1998, 2004–2006, 2010)

Joe Taylor (born May 7, 1950) is a retired American football coach. His last coaching job was as the head football coach at Florida A&M University from 2008 to November 2012. Before that, he was the head football coach at Hampton University from 1992 to 2007 where he compiled a 136–49–1 record (.734) and won four black college football national championships (1995, 2004, 2005 and 2006) and eight conference titles. He was also the head coach at Virginia Union University from 1984 to 1991 where he won one conference title on his way to an overall record of 60–19–3 (.750).

Early years[edit]

Taylor is a native of Washington, D.C. He graduated from Western Illinois University in 1972 and began his coaching career at Howard D. Woodson High School in Washington, D.C. He served as a physical education teacher, head wrestling coach, and assistant football and baseball coach in the District of Columbia schools.[1]

In 1978, Taylor was hired as the offensive line coach at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. He helped lead Eastern Illinois to the 1978 NCAA Division II National Football Championship.[1]

In 1980, Taylor was hired as the offensive coordinator at Virginia Union University, a historically black university (HBCU) located in Richmond, Virginia.[1] After two years at Virginia Union, Taylor became the defensive coordinator at Howard University, an HBCU in Washington, D.C. He was named the head football coach at Howard in 1983. He had a 1–9 record in his only season as head coach at Howard.[2]

Virginia Union[edit]

In 1984, Taylor was hired by Virginia Union as its head football coach. In 1986, Taylor led Virginia Union to an undefeated regular season, a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs.[1] His teams also made the Division II playoffs in 1990 and 1991. The 1990 team went undefeated as well.[2][3] In eight years as the head coach at Virginia Union, Taylor compiled a record of 60 wins, 19 losses, and 3 ties for a .750 winning percentage.[2]

Hampton University[edit]

From 1992 to 2007, Taylor was the head football coach at Hampton University, an HBCU located in Hampton, Virginia. In his first three years at Hampton, the school played in NCAA Division II and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). In 1993, Taylor's team was undefeated in the regular season, advanced to the quarterfinal round of the national playoffs, and became the first CIAA team in history to win 12 games in a season.[1] In 1994, Hampton broke the CIAA total offense record with 5,575 yards and became the first CIAA team to average more than 500 yards of total offense per game.[1] By the end of the 1994 season, Hampton had won 23 straight games against CIAA opponents.[1] In recognition of his achievement, Taylor selected as College Coach of the Year in Virginia for 1994 by the Portsmouth Sports Club.[4]

In 1995, Hampton moved up to NCAA Division I-AA (now known as Division I FCS) play and joined the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in 1996.[5][6] Taylor continued to win at the Division I-AA level and became "the most successful football coach in Hampton history."[7] Taylor's Hampton teams won four Black College Championships (1995, 2004, 2005 and 2006), eight conference titles (three in the CIAA and five in the MEAC), the 1999 Heritage Bowl championship,[8] and seven trips to the NCAA playoffs.[1][9] He was also named MEAC Coach of the Year for three straight years from 2004 to 2006.[1]

The seniors on Taylor's 2006 team won three consecutive Black College Championships. Taylor called the 2006 squad the best in Hampton history. He said, "Start by looking at what they've accomplished as a group. The seniors are 22–2 in the conference the past three seasons. They are 31–4 overall during that time and 38–8 for the four years. Because of their record, they went onto the field with a bull's-eye on our back every game this year. The kids survived that onslaught and got better, while dealing with a higher number of injuries than ever before."[10]

In 2004, a New Jersey newspaper published a feature story on Taylor. Hampton athletic director Dennis Thomas asserted that Taylor had earned his chance to coach a major Division I-A program, but noted that he wouldn't be able to name a black coach out of a black university getting a chance to be a big-time college football coach, "It's never happened. What's that telling you?"[11] Taylor insisted that the lack of offers did not eat at him or leave him bitter. He noted:

"I've always seen coaching more about being a ministry than about X's and O's. I want to make a difference, and I think I do that where I'm coaching now. You won't hear me bellyache. You can do anything in this world if you believe in it and map it out. If one man can do it, that means another man can do it too. Do what Sylvester Croom has done. Do what Tyrone Willingham has done. There's a road map out there, I tell the young coaches now. Follow what they did."[11]

In 16 years as the head coach at Hampton, he compiled a record of 136 wins, 49 losses and one tie for a .734 winning percentage.[2] Taylor's tenure produced a good number of great Hampton Pirate players who went on to the National Football League and Canadian Football League. The list include: Kendall Langford, Justin Durant, Nevin McCaskill, Alonzo Coleman, Zuriel Smith, Jerome Mathis, Marquay McDaniel, Onrea Jones, Travarous Bain, Darian Barnes, Cordell Taylor and Isaac Hilton. These players were All-MEAC selections, as well as Black College Football All-Americans, and Div 1-AA All-Americans during their college careers.

Florida A&M[edit]

In December 2007, Taylor announced that he would leave Hampton to coach at Florida A&M University (FAMU), an HBCU in Tallahassee, Florida.[9] Taylor's contract with FAMU was reported to be for five years with a base salary of $225,000 and a $12,000 housing allowance.[1][7] FAMU plays in the NCAA Division I Football Championship. When Taylor took over, the FAMU football team was coming off a 3–8 season, had gone 29–35 since 2001, and was "reeling after the loss of 14 scholarships in four years."[12] In his first two seasons at FAMU, Taylor turned the program into a winner, compiling records of 9–3 in 2008 and 8–3 in 2009.[2] In November 2009, FAMU athletic director Bill Hayes praised Taylor's contributions, "He has recruited better, and he has inspired and organized the program in such a way that he has been able to maximize the talent here. Joe had such a solid plan and approach to building winners until the players just bought in. They bought into what he was trying to do, and it didn't take him long."[12]

On Saturday, November 3, 2012 he announced his retirement at the end of the season to his players during their pre-game breakfast prior to that days game against North Carolina Central University.[13] The Rattlers would lose that game, falling to 3-6 and ensuring the first losing season in Taylor's tenure at Florida A&M. Just four days later, Taylor announced he was resigning "effective immediately."[14]

Overall coaching record[edit]

At his retirement in the 2012 football season, Taylor ranked tied for 33rd in all-time coaching victories and tied for 3rd in all-time wins at HBCU programs, in both cases tied with Ace Mumford.

Personal life[edit]

Taylor is married to the former Beverly Richardson. They have two adult sons, Aaron Taylor and Dennis Taylor.[1]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Howard Bison (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) (1983)
1983 Howard 1–9 1–3 T–3rd
Howard: 1–9 1–3
Virginia Union Panthers (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1984–1991)
1984 Virginia Union 5–2–2
1985 Virginia Union 6–4
1986 Virginia Union 11–1 1st L NCAA Division II First Round
1987 Virginia Union 7–3
1988 Virginia Union 7–2
1989 Virginia Union 6–2–1
1990 Virginia Union 10–2 L NCAA Division II First Round
1991 Virginia Union 8–3 L NCAA Division II First Round
Virginia Union: 60–19–3
Hampton Pirates (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1992–1994)
1992 Hampton 9–2–1 1st L NCAA Division II First Round
1993 Hampton 12–1 1st L NCAA Division II Quarterfinal
1994 Hampton 10–1 1st
Hampton (CIAA): 31–4–1
Hampton Pirates (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) (1995–2007)
1995 Hampton 8–3 3–1 NA
1996 Hampton 5–6 3–4 5th
1997 Hampton 10–2 7–0 1st L NCAA Division I-AA First Round
1998 Hampton 9–3 7–1 T–1st L NCAA Division I-AA First Round
1999 Hampton 8–4 5–3 3rd W Heritage Bowl
2000 Hampton 7–4 5–3 T–4th
2001 Hampton 7–4 6–2 2nd
2002 Hampton 7–5 5–3 T–2nd
2003 Hampton 7–4 5–2 T–2nd
2004 Hampton 10–2 6–1 T–1st L NCAA Division I-AA First Round
2005 Hampton 11–1 8–0 1st L NCAA Division I-AA First Round
2006 Hampton 10–2 7–1 1st L NCAA Division I First Round
2007 Hampton 6–5 5–3 4th
Hampton (MEAC): 105–45 72–24
Hampton Total: 136–49–1
Florida A&M Rattlers (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) (2008–2012)
2008 Florida A&M 9–3 5–3 T–2nd
2009 Florida A&M 8–3 6–2 2nd
2010 Florida A&M 8–3 7–1 T–1st
2011 Florida A&M 7–4 5–3
2012 Florida A&M 3–6 4–4
Florida A&M: 36–20 27–13
Total: 232–97–4
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Joe Taylor named head football coach at FAMU". Black Coaches & Administrators Sports. 2008-01-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "NCAA Career Statistics". NCAA. Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  3. ^ "CLUB NAMES TAYLOR TOP FOOTBALL COACH". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 1991-01-14. 
  4. ^ Bill Leffler (1995-02-17). "HAMPTON'S TAYLOR TOP COLLEGE COACH". Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va. 
  6. ^ John O'Connor (1996-08-18). "WELL-TAYLOR-ED CONSISTENCY IS MARK OF HU FOOTBALL COACH". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 
  7. ^ a b "Joe Taylor leaves Hampton for FAMU". Chicago Defender. 2008-01-03. 
  8. ^ "HERITAGE BOWL: Lewis Steals Show as Hampton Rolls". Los Angeles Times. 1999-12-19. 
  9. ^ a b "Joe Taylor leaves Hampton to become head football coach at Florida A&M". Onnidan Online. 2007-12-30. 
  10. ^ Marty O'Brien (2006-11-25). "A Pirates team for the ages: Win or lose, Joe Taylor says this Hampton University football team is the best in school history". Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, Washington. 
  11. ^ a b Adrian Wojnaowski (2004-09-25). "Taylor-made for Hampton: Coach not complaining he's not at a big-time university". The Record, Bergen County, N.J. 
  12. ^ a b Melinda Waldrop (2009-11-13). "Former Hampton U. coach Joe Taylor returns as foe with Florida A and M". McClatchy-Tribune Business News, Washington. 
  13. ^,0,3689649.story
  14. ^
  15. ^

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