Longevity can be defined as the long continuance in a particular occupation. Success is defined as the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted. Johnson C. Smith University head women’s basketball coach Vanessa Taylor is a shining example of longevity and success in coaching. In the midst of her 11th season, Taylor has reached her 200th victory at the helm of the women’s basketball program at JCSU. With such as impressive milestone in tow, the opportunity to reflect on the journey is available.
After 10 seasons as head coach at JCSU, Taylor continues to strive for new heights instead of resting on her laurels. Last year, JCSU concluded the 2010-11 season in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25 poll at No. 22 after a historic best 26-5 overall record. The Golden Bulls advanced to the championship game in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournaments. The victory over Glenville State (74-69) in the quarterfinals was the first ever regional tournament win for the women’s basketball program.
Taylor was elected as the 2011 CIAA Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year; her third time winning the honor, but first at JCSU. She has the most wins all-time as the head women’s basketball coach at JCSU with a school record of 200-108 and an overall record of 283-203. Taylor has never had a losing season at Johnson C. Smith, including four seasons with 20 plus victories and no season with few than 16 wins.
Despite the success, Taylor remains humble, focused, and energized to accomplish more.
“I love to win, but within my career I was never really concerned about numbers,” replied Taylor when asked her feelings on the 200th win. “I always focus on my players and the small successes along the way. I understand as the head coach that I’m in the spotlight, but this is definitely a team accomplishment.”
Article referenced from CIAA.