SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State Director of Athletics Mark Orr announced Monday that Troy Taylor will serve as the 11th head coach in school history. An introductory press conference will be scheduled for later this week.
“After a thorough search, I am thrilled to select Troy Taylor to serve as the next head football coach of the Hornets,” Orr said. “He’s an innovative play caller who’s had success at all levels of football. Troy is one of the best quarterbacks to come out of the Sacramento region and has become a nationally respected coach. I am excited to see him help take the program to new heights.”
Taylor has served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Utah for the last two seasons. This past year, the Utes won the Pac-12 Conference South title for the first time in school history and finished the regular season with a 9-4 overall record. The team will continue its season on Dec. 31 in the Holiday Bowl against Northwestern. Utah averaged 28.7 points per game in 2018 and averaged 396.0 yards per game in a balanced attack which featured 186.8 yards rushing and 209.2 yards passing per game. His offense featured a pair of quarterbacks during the year who combined to completed 61.9 percent of their passes with 15 touchdowns. Seventeen players caught a pass with eight hauling in at least 10. Running back Zack Moss sparked the ground game with 1,096 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.
During his first season with the Utes (2017), his offense featured a second-team all-Pac-12 receiver (Darren Carrington II) and a 1,000-yard rusher (Moss). Taylor’s offense spread the ball around with 16 players catching passes and 11 players rushing from scrimmage. That season, Utah amassed 413.4 total yards per game and posted a 30-14 win over West Virginia in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
“I am thrilled to be the new head football coach at Sacramento State,” Taylor said. “My family and I are excited to move back home and take on the challenge of building the Hornet Football program into something the city can be very proud. I want to thank President Nelsen, Mark Orr and the rest of the search committee for giving me this opportunity.”
Taylor returned to college football in 2016 as the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Eastern Washington. That season, he directed the top passing offense in the FCS and set numerous national and school records. The Eagles averaged an FCS-best 401.0 passing yards per game, ranked second nationally with 529.6 yards per game and was third in scoring offense (42.4 ppg). EWU posted a 12-2 overall record and advanced to the FCS semifinals.
Under Taylor, sophomore Gage Gubrud set an NCAA FCS single-season record by passing for 5,160 yards while throwing 48 touchdown passes. Gubrud, the 2016 FCS Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, averaged 368.6 passing yards per game, which also led the nation. One of his favorite targets was All-American Cooper Kupp who caught 117 passes for 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns before being selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the third round of the NFL Draft.
“With the hiring of Troy Taylor, the Hornets have an offensive guru who, I believe, will take the football team to the playoffs and beyond in the passing-minded Big Sky Conference,” Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen said. “But, much more importantly, Coach Taylor will shape players who will be ready for life after football. He will live up to Sacramento State’s mission to ‘transform lives by preparing students for leadership, service, and success.’ Coach Taylor is the right coach at the right time, and he is here to win on and off the field.”
Taylor’s success at Eastern Washington followed an illustrious run at Folsom High School where he was co-head coach from 2012-15. The Bulldogs set numerous California state records, including the most points scored in a season. Folsom posted a 58-3 overall record, won the Sac-Joaquin Section title each season and claimed the 2014 CIF Div. I championship with a 68-7 win over Oceanside HS. The team also set the California record for passing yards in four consecutive years.
One of his stars with the Bulldogs was Jake Browning, who would become the 2016 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year for Washington. Taylor coached Browning from fifth grade until he graduated as one of the most prolific passers in prep history. Browning set national records for touchdowns in a season (91 in 2014, tied) and a career (229, in just three seasons). He set a number of California state high school records as well, including season (5,790) and career (16,775) passing yards.
As a player, Taylor guided Cordova High School to a 14-0 record and a section championship while being named the Northern California Player of the Year in 1985. He continued his career at Cal where he was the starting quarterback for the Golden Bears from 1986-89. Taylor led the Pac-10 in total offense as a senior and left Cal as the all-time leading passer with 8,126 yards. He was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 1990 NFL Draft.
Taylor’s first coaching job was at Casa Roble High School in Orangevale, Calif., in 1994. The following year, he was a graduate assistant at Colorado where he worked with the wide receivers. He returned to Cal in 1996 and remained at his alma mater through 2000 where he had stints coaching receivers, quarterbacks and tight ends. Taylor was also Cal’s recruiting coordinator in 1999.
Taylor left Cal to become an assistant athletics director at Christian Brothers High School (2000-01) in Sacramento, where he also taught and was an assistant football coach for one season (2000). He spent 2003-04 at Folsom High School as the co-head coach. Taylor stepped away from coaching after the 2004 season but remained in football, serving as the radio analyst for Cal from 2005-11.
He and his wife, Tracey, have three children (sons Noah and Aaron and daughter Ella).
2017-18 – Utah (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks)
2016 – Eastern Washington (Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks)
2012-15 – Folsom High School (Co-Head Coach)
2002-04 – Folsom High School (Co-Head Coach)
2000 – Christian Brothers High School (Assistant Coach)
1996-99 – California (Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator/Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers)
1995 – Colorado (Graduate Assistant/Receivers)
1994 – Casa Roble High School (Assistant Coach)
2108 – Holiday Bowl
2017 – Heart of Dallas Bowl
2016 – FCS Semifinals
1996 – Aloha Bowl
1995 – Cotton Bowl