New Men's Basketball Coach Named
Kyle Taylor, the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Minnesota State-Moorhead, has been named the new men's basketball coach at Covenant College. Taylor replaces Nathan Kirkpatrick who stepped down this spring to return to the University of Georgia to pursue his doctoral degree.
A native of Salinas, California, Taylor graduated from UCLA in 2005 with a double major in business/economics and political science. After leaving UCLA, Taylor joined Paul Westphal's staff at Pepperdine University before moving to Cal State-Northridge where he helped Coach Bobby Braswell recruit many of the players that almost upset the University of Memphis in this year's NCAA tournament.
Prior to serving on Stu Engen's staff at Minnesota State-Moorhead, Taylor had the opportunity to assist legendary NAIA coach Larry Holley at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where the Cardinals finished 20-13 and lost in the tournament championship of the always tough Heart of America Athletic Conference.
"Kyle Taylor brings a wonderful combination of coaching experience, commitment to the primary importance of academics in college athletics, clear Christian testimony, and a desire to lead our student-athletes toward lives of thoughtful and effective witness and service," said Covenant College President Niel Nielson. "I look forward to his leadership of our men's basketball program."
Taylor, who also earned his master's degree in health and physical education from Northwest Missouri State University in 2008, will move to the Lookout Mountain area soon with his wife Shannon and infant son Kade, and will begin leading the Scots' program and recruiting immediately.
"My family and I are excited about joining the Covenant College community," said Taylor. "God has definitely blessed us with this amazing opportunity and we are honored to be a part of such a wonderful, distinctly Christian, academically rich institution."
"After meeting with, and working out, the current members of the men's basketball program, I could not be more pleased with the type of men that they are, their work ethic, commitment to one another, and their enthusiasm for the game of basketball. These young men are the type of guys that I want my son Kade to be influenced by on a daily basis. We will have three simple goals: we will graduate 100% of the student-athletes that enroll at Covenant to play basketball, we will train up godly men with impeccable character that can influence this world for Christ, and we will glorify God through the way we compete and play the game of basketball."
Despite a difficult 2008-2009 season, Covenant developed a reputation for scrappy intensity and effort, and was awarded the Appalachian Athletic Conference’s “Champions of Character” award at the conclusion of the season.