Vince Taylor enters his third season as an assistant coach at Texas Tech and possesses nearly 20 years of coaching experience between the college ranks and the NBA. He has been a member of Tubby Smith’s coaching staff for the last nine seasons at both Texas Tech and Minnesota.
Taylor has played a vital role in the development of Tech’s post players which have seen an increase in points, rebounds and blocks during his first two seasons on staff. Zach Smith registered 45 blocks, which ranked second among freshmen and seventh overall in program history in 2014-15. Taylor also assists with scouting and recruiting. He has been listed as high as No. 35 among assistant coaches by The Hoop Scoop, a national recruiting service. The Red Raiders have put together the program’s best recruiting classes in more than a decade under Smith.
Taylor helped Minnesota to three NCAA Tournament appearances and two National Invitational Tournament (NIT) over his six seasons as an assistant coach. The Golden Gophers reached the 20-win mark on five occasions. On the recruiting trail, Taylor had a hand in securing 10 Top 150 recruits at Minnesota.
Before returning to the college ranks, Taylor worked for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. He was responsible for player development and scouting opponents. Taylor had the opportunity to work with Kevin Garnett who is a 9-time All-NBA and 12-time All-NBA Defensive selection. Garnett is the only player in NBA history to reach at least 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 steals and 1,500 blocks during his career.
Taylor worked under Rick Pitino and Denny Crum over his seven-year span as an assistant at Louisville from 1999-2005 where he earned the reputation as one of the nation’s best recruiters. He helped the Cardinals land a Top 5 recruiting class in 2001 under Pitino’s watch, which included McDonald’s All-American Carlos Hurt. Taylor also was heavily responsible for the recruitment of Reece Gaines to Louisville. A four-year starter, Gaines was named an All-America Third-Team selection as a senior and was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the No. 15 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.
Louisville returned to the NCAA Final Four in 2005 with many of Taylor’s recruits. Francisco Garcia tallied a trio of 20-plus point games, and the Cardinals upset top-seed Washington in NCAA Sweet 16 play. Louisville overcame a 20-point first-half deficit and a 10-point hole with six minutes left against West Virginia in the NCAA Elite Eight to capture the Albuquerque West Regional. Garcia was selected with the No. 23 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. He enjoyed a 10-year NBA career between the Sacramento Kings and the Houston Rockets.
Taylor’s coaching resume also includes one-year stops at Pittsburgh under Ralph Willard in 1997-98 and at Wyoming under Steve McClain in 1998-99.
Taylor played professionally for 15 seasons after a standout career at Duke for coaches Bill Foster and Mike Krzyzewski. He was picked by the New York Knicks in the second round of the 1982 NBA Draft with the 34th overall pick. Taylor averaged 3.1 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in his rookie season before being traded to the Indiana Pacers in 1983-84. He started his European career in 1984 which featured stops in Italy (1984-86), France (1986-92) and Belgium (1992-97). Over his final two seasons in the Belgian professional league, Taylor served as a player/assistant coach.
Taylor was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference First-Team and All-American Honorable Mention recipient during his senior season at Duke. He poured in an ACC-leading 20.3 points per game and is one of eight players in program history to capture the ACC scoring title. Taylor also paced the Blue Devils in rebounds and steals and served as the team’s captain in 1982.
Taylor piled up 1,455 career points and finished his career ranked 10th on Duke’s all-time scoring list. He is one of 33 players in program history to surpass 1,400 career points and once held the school record by playing in 120 straight games. Duke won the 1979 ACC regular season championship and the 1980 ACC tournament title. The Blue Devils also made two NCAA Tournament appearances and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight in 1980.
Taylor earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke in 1982 and was named to the President’s List as a senior. The prestigious list is awarded to only five percent of Duke’s student body and is based on contributions to the university and academic achievements.
Taylor prepped at Tates Creek High School in Lexington, Kentucky where he garnered McDonald’s and Parade High School All-American honors as a senior in 1978. He racked up 29.3 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Taylor has two children: son, Brendan and daughter, Maya.
The Vince Taylor File