Elon University / Today at Elon / Elon appoints Billy Taylor as head coach of men’s basketball

Taylor comes to Elon from the University of Iowa, where he has served for the past three seasons as assistant coach to Fran McCaffery.

Elon University Athletics Director Dave Blank named veteran coach Billy Taylor as the 19th coach of the men’s basketball program. With 14 years of head coaching experience, including 11 at the NCAA Division I level, Taylor brings experience and knowledge to the sideline. He has been a part of teams, either as a head coach or on the team, that have advanced to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament seven times.

“I am honored and honored to accept the head coaching position at Elon University,” said Taylor. “I want to thank President Connie Ledoux Book and Athletics Director Dave Blank for offering me the opportunity to serve student athletes in our basketball program. As a program, we will strive for excellence on the basketball court, in the classroom, and in the community. Our family is excited to begin this new journey and we look forward to joining the Elon community.”

Taylor spent five years as a head coach at Lehigh University, followed by six seasons as a head coach at Ball State University and three at Belmont Abbey College. He arrives at Elon after spending three years as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa, his second stint with the Hawkeyes.

Two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (2003, 2004), Taylor led Lehigh to both the regular season and tournament titles in 2004, earning an offer to the NCAA Tournament that season. He also guided Ball State to the 2009 MAC Western Division crown. He has 24 years of coaching experience starting as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, in 1998.

“I want to welcome Billy, his wife, Avlon, and their three children, Gavielle, Tamia and Savion, to Elon,” said Blank. “Billy’s track record has impressed everyone involved in our pursuit, including his head coaching experience, his NCAA Tournament experience, and his time spent in the region. We are confident he is a great fit for the student-athletes on our current team and look forward to his leadership in our program, our department and our campus.”

Iowa Hawkeyes forward Filip Rebraca (0), guard Payton Sandfort (20) and center Riley Mulvey (44) throw water at assistant coach Billy Taylor after winning the game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa, on Sunday, February 6th. 2022. (Stephen Mally/hawkeyesports.com)

Over the past three seasons, Taylor and the Iowa Hawkeyes have been a mainstay of the NCAA National Rankings and Tournament, winning the 2022 Big Ten Tournament championship. The team won 26 games in 2022, the second-highest win total in a single game. season in the show’s history. During his time at the university, Iowa was led by two-time National Player of the Year, Luke Garza, along with Keegan Murray, a finalist for the Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy.

With Taylor on the sidelines, Iowa was one of the top offensive teams in the country, ranking fifth nationally in scoring average in 2021 (83.7) and 2022 (83.2). The show also led the country in the ratio of assists to turnover in both seasons.

Taylor’s first head coaching opportunity came in 2002-03 at Lehigh, where he went 81-69 in five seasons, including 43-27 in the Patriot League. His teams went .500 or more in league play each season, winning 2004 regular season and tournament titles, going 20-11 overall and 10-4 in conference action. In its first season with the Mountain Hawks, the show had the second-biggest turnaround in the country, improving its win total by 11 wins. His 2005-06 team set the school record for conference wins in a season with an 11-3 mark.

Ball State signed Taylor for the 2007-08 season, where he coached for six seasons. The Cardinals have finished first or second in the Central American Conference (MAC) Western Division three times and have advanced to the semifinals of the MAC Tournament twice.

Taylor left Ball State and began his first of two stints in Iowa, serving as Director of Basketball Operations from 2013-16. He was then appointed head trainer at Belmont Abbey, where he changed the Crusaders’ program. After 26 combined wins in their first two seasons, Belmont Abbey went 23-8 in 2018-19, a record that included a 14-4 mark in Conference Carolinas. Although he moved to Iowa after that season, he’s built a foundation for the Crusaders to go 61-25 in the three seasons since.

Taylor began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Notre Dame in 1998-99. From there, he gained experience in the Piedmont region, serving as assistant coach at UNC Greensboro from 1999 to 02, with 54 wins and 36 losses, before earning the Lehigh coaching job. At UNC Greensboro, Taylor’s teams had an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2001 and a postseason NIT bid in 2002.

A card-winner for four years at Notre Dame, Taylor was drafted by Digger Phelps, captained his senior team and started 79 career games. He majored in Accounting and Computer Applications in 1995. He also obtained his CPA license in 1998.

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

Coaching Experience

  • 1998-99 Notre Dame (assistant)
  • 1999-02 UNC Greensboro (assistant)
  • 2002-07 Lehigh (head coach)
  • 2007-13 State of the Ball (head coach)
  • 2013-16 Iowa (Director of Operations)
  • 2016-19 Belmont Abbey (head coach)
  • 2019-22 Iowa (assistant)

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