BELMONT, N.C. – A veteran of college basketball at many different levels, Billy Taylor enters his third season as head coach at Belmont Abbey. Taylor, who brings 11 years of NCAA Division I head coaching experience to the College, is the 16th leader of the men's basketball program and its first ever African-American head coach.
A University of Notre Dame graduate and former Irish player, Taylor has served as head coach both at Ball State University and at Lehigh University. He most recently worked with Coach Fran McCaffery for three years at the University of Iowa as Director of Basketball Operations. He coordinated travel and arranged the day-to-day activities of the Hawkeye's men's basketball program. During all three seasons of Taylor's tenure at Iowa the program earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament, produced a first-team All-Big Ten member, and had a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.
Taylor arrived at Iowa after serving as head men's basketball coach at Ball State for six years (2007-13). Under Taylor, the Cardinals finished first or second in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) West Division three times and advanced to the MAC Tournament semifinals twice. The team produced nine All-Conference selections and had MAC All-Freshman Team honorees in five consecutive seasons. Taylor also coached a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Finalist and John Wooden Citizenship Cup National Finalist.
Prior to his time at Ball State, Taylor enjoyed a successful five-year run as head men's basketball coach at Lehigh University (2002-07). He was a two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year and led the Mountain Hawks to the NCAA Tournament after winning the regular season and tournament championships in 2003-04. Taylor coached a Patriot League Player of the Year and Associated Press All-American, five All-Patriot League selections, and two All-Rookie team selections.
Taylor was the top assistant coach to McCaffrey at UNC-Greensboro for three years (1999-2002) before moving to Lehigh. The team earned a Southern Conference Championship and made the NCAA Tournament in 2000-01 and earned an NIT bid in 2001-02. He got his start in coaching as an assistant at the University of Notre Dame in 1998-99
Recruited by Digger Phelps, Taylor started 79 of 112 games as a player for John MacLeod at Notre Dame. He was a four-year letterman, team captain as a senior, and graduated with a degree in business administration and computer application in 1995. Taylor earned his CPA in 1998 while working for Arthur Andersen. Originally from Chicago, Taylor and his family live in the area.