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Nevada softball coach Josh Taylor leaves for Louisiana Tech head job

Josh Taylor
Josh Taylor is leaving Nevada after eight seasons with the program, including five as head coach. (Nevada athletics)

After eight seasons at Nevada, including the last five as the Wolf Pack softball team's head coach, Josh Taylor is leaving for the the same position at Louisiana Tech.

Louisiana Tech athletic director Eric Wood announced the hiring of Taylor on Monday morning.

"We met with our softball student-athletes and heard directly from them what they wanted in their next head coach," Wood said in a news release. "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."

Taylor moves from the Mountain West to Conference USA, which are similar conferences. At Nevada, Taylor was respected as one of the department's top head coaches and was beloved by his players. He takes over a Louisiana Tech program that went 22-30 last season, including 10-10 in C-USA. The team went 45-16 overall and 19-5 in conference in 2019. Louisiana Tech was under the direction of an interim coach this year after head coach Maria Winn resigned due to personal reasons last July.

During his five seasons as Nevada's head coach, Taylor's teams went 120-109 overall and 49-44 in the MW. This year, Nevada went 24-16 overall and 13-8 in conference, finishing third in the MW. The Wolf Pack also finished fifth twice and seventh once in the MW in Taylor's three other full seasons (the 2020 campaign was ended early due to COVID-19). Nevada played in three NISCs, a second-tier postseason tournament, under Taylor, losing in the Regional round each time.

"We interviewed a lot of candidates across the country," Wood said. "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."

Last year was Taylor's best at Nevada as the Wolf Pack won seven of its eight MW series, including a sweep of second-place UNLV, and beat No. 2-ranked Washington in a non-conference game. The Wolf Pack hit .289 as a team with five players batting over .300 while recording a school-record 62 stolen bases.

"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," Taylor said in a news release. "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 student-athletes 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, developed 19 All-MW honorees during his head coaching stint – five in 2021 – and another 22 Academic All-MW 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.

"Josh is a proven winner that has won at multiple levels of college softball," Arkansas assistant coach Matt Meuchel, who preceded Taylor as Nevada's head coach, said in a news release. "He is an extraordinary teacher of the game that has a knack for getting the most out of his athletes. He is the perfect choice to lead the Louisiana Tech softball program back to national prominence."

Prior to joining the Wolf Pack, Taylor served as the head coach at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif. Taylor led the Golden Eagle softball program to three-consecutive Super Regional appearances from 2010 to 2012. His overall record in his four years at Feather River was 113-59, including a 92-37 mark over his final three seasons.

Taylor previously served as associate head coach for the Marysville Gold Sox, a collegiate summer league team, from 2008-11. On top of running all aspects of hitting and fielding instruction, Taylor coached multiple players who went on to earn Division I scholarships and two big-leaguers in Cody Anderson and Max Stassi. Prior to joining the Gold Sox, Taylor spent a season as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at San Joaquin College in Stockton, Calif. from 2007-08.

A former Wolf Pack baseball player, Taylor was inducted into the Nevada athletics Hall of Fame in 2015 as part of the 1994 baseball squad that finished with 41 wins, was ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation and earned the program's first NCAA regional appearance.

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