|Title:||Director of Athletics (1988-)|
Craig Taylor is in his 26th year as the director of athletics at George Fox University, but has been associated with the university for 42 years as a player, coach, or professor.
As director of athletics, Taylor is responsible for all athletic department functions, including eligibility and compliance with Northwest Conference and NCAA regulations, budgeting, and department and sports center management. He also oversees the university's Sports Hall of Fame and the Bruin Athletic Association.
Building a Strong Program
Taylor oversaw the university's transition from NAIA membership to NCAA Division III in 1998. The university has added five new sports – women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, and men's and women's golf – during his tenure, and will add two more with women's lacrosse in the spring of 2014 and the return of football in the fall of 2014. He guided the planning and building of the new Austin Athletic Complex, which opened its soccer / lacrosse field in August of 2011.
Hiring the Right People
Many of the coaches Taylor has hired have won conference, regional, and national awards. Among former Bruin coaches, Wes Cook won National Coach of the Year awards in women's cross country at both the NCCAA (1988) and NAIA (1992) levels, Pat Bailey was named NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year after the Bruins won the 2004 national baseball title, and Scott Rueck won the 2009 NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year after leading the women's basketball team to a perfect 32-0 record and the national championship. Pat Casey, now the head baseball coach at Oregon State University, was hired by Taylor for his first coaching position in 1988 and won seven conference titles at George Fox before taking the OSU position in 1995 and leading the Beavers to back-to-back NCAA Division I national championships in 2006 and 2007. Current women's basketball coach Michael Meek was named the 2012 NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year when he led the Bruins to a 32-1 record and the championship game of the National Tournament.
This past year, four coaches whom Taylor hired earned coaching honors. Mark Sundquist was named the Northwest Conference Coach of the Year in men's basketball before leaving to pursue other opportunities, MaryJo McCloskey was named the NWC Coach of the Year in women's golf, John Smith earned NWC Coach of the Year honors, and Doug Beatty was named Assistant Coach of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for both indoor and outdoor women's track and field.
Administrator, Coach and Teacher
Taylor, named the NAIA District 2 Administrator of the Year in 1992, served as an assistant professor of health and human performance at George Fox from 1978-89, and is now an associate professor in the department. He was named "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" in 1998, and served as the school's vice president for student life in 1999.
Prior to his administrative duties, Taylor coached the university's baseball (1974-79), women's basketball (1981-93), and softball (1981-88, 1990) teams. In 1985, he was named NAIA District 2 Softball Coach of the Year.
A Four-Decade Bruin
Taylor came to George Fox in 1971 as a junior forward for the men's basketball team. During the 1972-73 season, he helped the Bruins to their first-ever NAIA District 2 title. He graduated from George Fox in 1974 and earned a master's degree in education from Linfield College in 1975.
Taylor, 62, and his wife, Kathy, live in McMinnville and have three children: Leah, 39, a 1996 George Fox graduate; Bree, 34, a 2001 George Fox graduate who played volleyball for the Bruins; and Casey, 24, who ran for the George Fox track and field team.