Taylor ready to take Rattlers to next level

Joe Taylor, the new head coach of the Florida A&M University football team, is steadily making the transition to the Rattler football program.

 Taylor insisted there is nothing difficult about being head coach for any type of program.

He said what excites him the most is just being able to make a positive difference in the lives of the young people he coaches.

“I look at coaching as a ministry,” Taylor said. “My goal is not to improve the team but the young men, and not just on Saturday, but Sunday through Saturday.”

Taylor stressed the importance of his players realizing their priorities. He said Mondays through Fridays the team is expected to be in their classrooms.

He wants all his players to be responsible for their actions and all those around them to realize they play a role in the players’ development.

“If you watch me work, then it won’t work,” Taylor said. “If everybody understands that they play a role in the development of these young people then we have a chance.”

Taylor said he is encouraged about his upcoming career at the helm of the Rattler football program.

He said it was God’s plan for him to move on from Hampton University where he coached for 16 seasons.

“I told the people at Hampton that I wasn’t moving, but I was just expanding the neighborhood,” Taylor said. “However, it wasn’t until I actually drove those 12 hours that I realized how much of an expansion it would be.”

Although leaving a school where he had ruled for nearly two decades was extremely tough, Taylor said the invitation he received from President James Ammons, was one that he just could not turn down.

“I’m very excited with his leadership and the direction that Dr. Ammons is leading this program in,” Taylor said. “To have the opportunity to revive and rekindle the spirit of a Jake Gaither program is a challenge that I can’t wait to tackle.”

As the FAMU community prepares to go in a new direction with its football program, Taylor’s successful track record suggests he can lead the team to nothing but greatness in the future.

Taylor’s coaching résumé includes 25 years of experience as a collegiate head football coach.

While at Hampton, he was listed as the most successful coach in their football history, guiding them to four Black College Championships, eight conference titles, a Heritage Bowl Championship, seven trips to the NCAA playoffs and a record of 136-49-1 (.734) from 1992-2007.

He is also listed as the third most successful coach in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision, with a career mark of 197-78-4 (.713), according to statistics provided by the Rattlers sports Web site, http://www.thefamurattlers.com.

Taylor said there won’t be any magic dust or magic pills swallowed to become champions.

He said he believes that when everyone who is a part of the football team realizes his role and responsibilities, that’s when the team will succeed.

 “I’ve accomplished much in my career,” Taylor said. “Through my faith in Christ, commitment and dedication, I look forward to restoring the spirit of this program and bringing great success to FAMU in the future.”