Billy Taylor named to Iowa basketball staff

By Hawkeyesports.com

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Head Basketball Coach Fran McCaffery has named Billy Taylor as an assistant coach on his basketball staff, replacing the position previously occupied by Andrew Francis.

Taylor joins the Hawkeye staff as an assistant coach after 18 years of collegiate coaching experience, including head coaching stints at Ball State, Lehigh, and Belmont Abbey. McCaffery coached Taylor as an assistant coach at Notre Dame (1992-95) and has been on the same staff as McCaffery on three different occasions.

Most recently, Taylor was Iowa’s director of basketball operations for three seasons (2014-16), coordinating travel and carrying out the day-to-day activities of the basketball program. Iowa competed in the NCAA Tournament and had a first-team All-Big Ten honoree (Devyn Marble, Aaron White, Jarrod Uthoff) all three seasons of Taylor's tenure at Iowa.

“We are excited that Billy Taylor is rejoining the Hawkeye basketball family,” said McCaffery. “Billy is the perfect fit for our team. He knows our program well, and has a wealth of coaching and recruiting experience. Billy is one of the most genuine and respected coaches in our profession. He will have an immediate impact with his passion for the game, and commitment to mentoring our student-athletes on and off the court.”

“I am humbled and honored to rejoin Coach McCaffery’s staff at the University of Iowa,” said Taylor. “My relationship with Coach McCaffery spans 30 years and continues to evolve with each step. I look forward to serving and mentoring the student-athletes in our program. I’m eager to tell prospective student-athletes about the amazing opportunities at the University of Iowa.”

Taylor was the top assistant for three seasons at UNC-Greensboro under McCaffery from 1999-02. The Spartans won the Southern Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament with a 19-11 record in 2000-01, before posting a 20-10 mark and an NIT appearance in 2001-02.

Taylor served as an assistant coach at Notre Dame during the 1998-99 campaign alongside McCaffery and under head coach John MacLeod. He coordinated opponent scouting reports, game preparations, preseason and postseason skill development sessions.

Taylor returns to Iowa City after serving as head coach at Division II Belmont Abbey the last three seasons (2017-19). He guided the Crusaders to a 23-8 record last season, a 13-win improvement from his first year on the Crusaders sidelines. This past season, Taylor mentored DeQuan Abrom to the Conference Carolinas Player of the Year Award. Abrom, a junior, led the league in scoring, averaging 24.2 points per game and became just the second player in school history to top 700 points in a season. Taylor guided three players to all-conference recognition over the past three years.

Taylor was head coach for six seasons (2007-13) at Ball State. During his tenure, the Cardinals finished either first or second in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) West Division three times and advanced to the MAC Tournament semifinals twice. Taylor coached nine all-conference selections and also mentored a MAC All-Freshman Team member five straight seasons.

Prior to Ball State, Taylor spent five seasons as head coach at Lehigh (2002-07), where he was a two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year honoree. In his first season, Taylor was named Patriot League Coach of the Year after guiding the Mountain Hawks to the second-largest turnaround in the nation, improving on the previous year's record by 11 wins.

In 2003-04, Taylor led Lehigh to its first Patriot League regular season and tournament championships, as well as a trip to the NCAA tournament. For his efforts, Taylor earned the league's Coach of the Year honor for the second time in as many seasons, becoming the first coach since Gonzaga's Mark Few to win conference coach of the year honors in each of his first two seasons as a head coach.

In 2005-06, Lehigh posted the third-most wins in school history with its 19-12 overall mark and a school-record 11 Patriot League wins.

Taylor, who was recruited to Notre Dame by Digger Phelps, was a four-year letterwinner for the Irish. He started 79-of-112 games during his career and was the team captain as a senior. He scored 577 points and grabbed 300 rebounds, before graduating with a degree in accounting and computer applications in 1995. He also earned his CPA in 1998.

Taylor joins one of the most experienced collegiate basketball staffs in the country. Kirk SperawSherman DillardAl Seibert, McCaffery, and Taylor have over 140 years of combined collegiate coaching experience.

Taylor and his wife, Avlon, have two daughters, Gavielle and Tamia, and a son, Savion.