Iowa announced Saturday that Billy Taylor, a former player and assistant coach under Fran McCaffery, will replace Jerry Strom as its director of basketball operations.
McCaffery recruited Taylor to play at Notre Dame, and Taylor served as an assistant for two years alongside McCaffery with the Fighting Irish. Taylor later joined McCaffery on his UNC-Greensboro staff.
Taylor was fired in March as Ball State’s head coach, compiling a 84-99 record in six seasons. The Cardinals finished 15-15 last season.
Strom served as Iowa’s director of operations for 30 years and served six head coaches in his tenure. He retired in May.
Here’s the news release:
University of Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery announced today that Billy Taylor will join the staff as the program’s director of basketball operations.
Taylor will work closely with the basketball staff, helping coordinate travel and carry out the day-to-day activities of the UI basketball program. Taylor replaces longtime staff member Jerry Strom, who retired after last season.
“We are extremely excited to have Billy Taylor join the Hawkeye family,” said McCaffery. “I’ve known Billy since he was a teenager, having recruited and coached him, as well as being on the same coaching staff at Notre Dame and UNC-Greensboro. Billy is someone with tremendous character and will be a great asset to our program.”
Taylor joins the Hawkeye staff after 15 years of collegiate coaching experience. He served the last 11 years as a head coach, most recently the last six seasons at Ball State (2007-13). 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-ever 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.
Before taking over at Lehigh, Taylor was the top assistant for three seasons at UNC-Greensboro under McCaffrey 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, 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.
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