A former player under head coach Wayne
Graham at San Jacinto College, Mike Taylor is in his eighth
season as an assistant baseball coach at Rice after being hand-picked by
his legendary mentor to join the Owl staff in 2000.
Now in his 16th season of
coaching, Taylor works with the Rice hitters. He also tutors the
infielders on fielding and executing defensive schemes. Taylor coaches
at first base on game day and shares the recruiting coordinator duties
with fellow assistant coach David Pierce.
In recruiting, Taylor and
Pierce have done an exemplary job of finding the country's top
student-athletes. The duo have brought in the top young players from
across the country, then coached and developed their talent to reach the
Rice has almost become a
direct pipeline to the pro ranks with 56 Owls selected in the major
league draft in Taylor's seven years on the job. Two Taylor-coached
all-America infielders from last season, Joe Savery and Brian Friday,
were selected in the top three rounds of last season's major league
draft. There is every reason to expect more of the same in the years to
Major league teams would
certainly give the Taylor/Pierce recruiting duo a high grade, and the
University would no doubt do the same, for making sure the Rice
student-athletes are students first. In 2007, 25 members of the Owl
baseball program were selected to the Conference USA Commissioner's
Academic Honor Roll for maintaining a semester grade point average of
3.0 or higher.
On the field Taylor's Owl
infielders have emerged as one of the best groups in college baseball.
Under his tutelage Rice had a fielding percentage of .969 in 2007, one
of the best marks in the country. Rice's national championship team of
2003, meanwhile, had an errorless streak of 85.2 innings at one point,
which was then followed by another of 73.1 frames without a defensive
A former standout
shortstop for Graham at San Jacinto, Taylor came to Rice in 2001.
Previously he spent two seasons as an assistant at Galveston College,
helping the Whitecaps to a two-year record of 84-34 and a conference
championship in 2000. Galveston finished the season ranked fourth
39-year-old Houston native spent six seasons as an assistant at Blinn
College in Brenham. Those Buccaneer teams won two conference titles and
never failed to finish below the top three in the league. Blinn went
259-103 in those six seasons, ranking as high as number-three in the
nation in 1993.
After a schoolboy career
in which he was named Houston's high school player of the year in 1986,
Taylor played on one national championship team under Graham at San
Jacinto as a freshman in 1987, and on a national runner-up squad in
1988. Graham has called him "the best shortstop I've ever coached."
From San Jacinto, Taylor
started his professional career, playing five seasons in the Toronto
Blue Jays organization. He retired in 1992 after his third season with
the Knoxville Blue Jays of the Class AA Southern League.
While coaching at Blinn,
Taylor completed his undergraduate degree in human performance at
Prairie View A&M, earning his B.S. degree in 1997.
Taylor and his wife Amy
live in Pearland. The couple have two daughters. Macy Marie (4) was born
during the 2003 Houston Regional championship. The newest addition to
the family, Madisyn, joined the Taylor starting lineup on Oct. 2, 2005.