Craig Taylor has served as Director of Athletics at George Fox University since 1988, but has been associated with the university for more than 42 years as a player, coach or professor.
As director of athletics, Taylor oversees all athletic department functions, including compliance with the Northwest Conference and NCAA regulations, budgeting, and department and sports facility management.
Building a Strong Program
Taylor oversaw the university's transition from NAIA membership to NCAA Division III in 1995. The university has added seven new sports – women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's golf, women's lacrosse and football – during his tenure. He guided the planning and building of the Austin Soccer and Lacrosse Complex, which opened its soccer / lacrosse field in August of 2011. He also helped guide the building of Stoffer Family Stadium and the Duke Athletic Center. He is currently working with the first phase of the Bruin Baseball field renovation.
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.
More recently, 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 to 1989, 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 also led his team to the first national appearance in the NAIA Men's Basketball Championship. He graduated from George Fox in 1974 and earned a master's degree in education from Linfield College in 1975.
Taylor and his wife, Kathy, live in McMinnville and have three children: Leah, a 1996 George Fox graduate; Bree, a 2001 George Fox graduate who played volleyball for the Bruins; and Casey, who ran for the George Fox track and field team.