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Taylor named Tech softball coach

Wednesday, June 9, 2021
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Photo courtesy of Louisiana Tech

Josh Taylor has been named head softball coach at Louisiana Tech after coaching at the University of Nevada for the past eight seasons.

Louisiana Tech Vice President and Director of Athletics Eric Wood announced the hiring of Josh Taylor as the head coach of the Lady Techster Softball program this week.

Taylor comes to Ruston after spending the past eight seasons at the University of Nevada, including the last five as the head coach of the Mountain West program.

“We met with our softball student-athletes and heard directly from them what they wanted in their next head coach,” said Wood. “We know we have the facility to win at a high level. We know we have the geographical location to recruit at a high level. We know we have the academic reputation to attract high caliber student athletes.

“Our goal was to find the individual who can take advantage of all of those and build this program into a perennial winner, not only in Conference USA but on a national level. Our baseball program just hosted an NCAA regional. Why can’t our softball program do the same thing? That is our goal.

“We interviewed a lot of candidates across the country. We talked to a lot of people within the industry. Our pool was extremely strong. Josh Taylor rose to the top of our list. He is a relationship-driven coach who has a reputation for developing his players on and off the field. When we talked to other coaches about Josh, we heard high softball IQ. We heard experience. We heard great in-game manager. He possesses all the characteristics that we wanted in our head coach.”

Taylor led the Wolf Pack to a 27-16 record in 2021, including a program record 16 wins in Mountain West action. Nevada posted a nonconference win over No. 2 ranked Washington, a team that finished with 45 wins and an appearance in the Super Regional vs. No. 1 Oklahoma. Nevada won seven of its eight Mountain West series, including a sweep against second place UNLV.

The Wolf Pack hit .289 as a team with five players batting over .300 while recording a school record 62 stolen bases. During his five years as the head coach, all five of his teams finished in the top 10 in program history in batting average. Defensively, his 2019 team shattered the school record for fielding percentage and fewest errors in a season.

Taylor’s 2018 team posted two wins over Louisiana Tech in Puerto Vallarta Classic.

“I would like to thank Dr. Eric Wood, Malcolm Butler, Mary Kay Hungate and all of the search committee on this incredible opportunity to join the Louisiana Tech Family,” said Taylor, who has wins over P5 opponents in Stanford, Cal, Iowa State, Oregon State and Kansas in his 123 career wins at Nevada.

“It was very clear from the moment that I walked on campus the support and love for Louisiana Tech Athletics was second to none. The addition of the incredible facilities and the commitment to the softball program made it very clear to me that I wanted to be a part of the University and the Ruston community. I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity. The administration shared with me the goal of our softball studentathletes and athletic department is for this program to compete at a national level. That’s what we are going to do.”

Taylor, who served as an assistant coach at Nevada for three seasons (2013-16) before taking over the helm, led Nevada to three straight NISC postseason appearances (2017-19). He developed 19 all-Mountain West honorees during his head coaching stint – five in 2021 – and another 22 Academic All-Mountain West performers.

Under Taylor’s guidance, Nevada softball posted impressive marks in the classroom, sporting a fall team grade points average of 3.71 and a spring GPA of 3.75.

Prior to joining the Wolf Pack, Taylor served as the head coach at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif. Taylor, who was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Feather River baseball team in his first stint from 2004-07, led the Golden Eagle softball program to three-consecutive Super Regional appearances from 2010 to 2012.