Taylor Named Southeast Region Coach of the Year

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After guiding his team to an appearance in the NCAA Southeast Championship contest, Anderson University head men’s basketball coach Jason Taylor has been named the Southeast Region Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) as announced today.

The NABC recognizes the best men’s collegiate basketball student-athletes and coaches in the division. Selected and voted on by member coaches of the NABC, these student-athletes represent the finest basketball players across America. The 89 student-athletes, from eight districts, are now eligible for the NABC Coaches’ Division II All-America teams, selected by the NABC.

Taylor, a native of Clarkrange, Tenn., guided the Trojans to a school-record 26 wins this season and was also named the South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year after leading Anderson to the league’s regular-season crown with a stellar 17-1 record, as AU became just the second current member since Carson-Newman in 2001-02 to go through the league slate with just one loss. Anderson posted the most regular-season league wins in SAC history and notched the highest league winning percentage (.944) in conference history.

He was named head coach at Anderson on May 31, 2006 and became Anderson’s all-time winningest men’s basketball coach with the Trojans’ 96-78 home win past Mars Hill this past December, surpassing former head coach Doug Novak’s 80-win tally. Taylor has averaged 17 wins per season since taking the reins for the 2006-07 campaign and led AU to its’ first-ever appearance in the Elite Eight in 2011, and its’ second consecutive 20-win season after finishing 21-12 in 2010-11.

In 2011, AU capped off its’ second consecutive stellar season by becoming the first team from the state of South Carolina since Lander in 1999 to claim a regional championship and just the second South Atlantic Conference school to earn a trip to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.

The Trojans made their second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and nearly reached the Final Four after defeating 10th-ranked Lincoln Memorial and third-ranked Augusta State en route to the school’s first-ever Southeast Regional title last March.

With a final record of 21-12, Anderson recorded the second-highest win total in school history, behind just the 2009-10 campaign’s school record. The Trojans were also the first squad in school history to combine three consecutive winning seasons along with four straight years of finishing .500 or better in the league’s regular-season schedule.
Taylor guided AU to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history in 2010, leading the Trojans to a school-record 24 wins. Taylor was the youngest coach to guide a men’s basketball team to the NCAA Tournament in either Division I or D-II in 2010.

Taylor joined the Anderson staff in May, 2003 as assistant men’s basketball coach and head junior varsity coach. He spent three seasons with head coach Doug Novak, Anderson University’s former all-time winningest coach as a member of the NCAA’s Division II. He earned an associate of science degree from Roane State in 1999 and a B.S. degree in health and physical education from Jacksonville State University in Alabama in 2001.

Southeast
First Team     Second Team
D.J. Rivera, Montevallo   Antoine Davis, Montevallo
Dwight Tolbert, Lander    Daniel Bailey, Queens
Ryan Aquino, Georgia College   Craig Hayes, Mount Olive
Liki Turner, Francis Marion   Teondre Williams, Clayton State
Sterling Council, USC Aiken   Brian Hewitt, King
Steve Peterson, Columbus State

Coach of the Year: Jason Taylor, Anderson University (SC)

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