Taylor is 3A coach of year

Published 12:55 am Friday, December 28, 2012

Coaching is truly a calling for Straughn head football coach Trent Taylor.

Taylor, who just finished his 25th season and 23rd at SHS, was selected as the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 3A All-State Football Coach of the Year.

The Tigers’ coach helped lead his team to a historical run in the playoffs, finishing in the semifinal round, where SHS fell to eventual runner-up Fayette County.

Taylor said he’s honored to have been given the award, but all the credit goes to his assistant coaches, a humble gesture for a coach who said he couldn’t be happier still doing what God’s planned for him to do with his life. In fact, it’s a job that he ran from, but eventually tracked him down.

As a senior at Andalusia High School, Taylor said he talked to former Bulldogs coach Don Sharpe about the possibility of going into the profession.

“Like any good coach, he gave me some good advice,” he said. “A lot of it I still remember to this day. After that, I had the idea in my mind that I wanted to pursue coaching as a career.”

Growing up, Taylor was raised around athletics.

His two uncles were high school coaches, one of which was Wayne Frazier, who played college football at Auburn University and later was the starting center for the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL.

Taylor said his mother, Romana, and all of her three brothers were all either involved in athletics or avid sports fans.

“Granddad listened and watched many games,” he said. “Granddaddy Frazier had two TVs stacked up on one another.

“I was probably brainwashed from an early age,” he quipped. “I probably loved it more than what a person is supposed to.”

In fact, Taylor loved football so much that practice was his favorite while at AHS.

“I had a much greater love of the game than I was as a player,” he said.

Upon graduation from AHS, Taylor went two years at LBWCC and then to Mobile College, which is the University of Mobile today.

While in college, Taylor said he pursued many different majors, but ended up getting a degree in religion.

“I guess the whole time God was saying coaching is what you’re going to do,” he said. “You can try all you want to (to get out of it).”

So, Taylor came back home to Andalusia and got a job at a local sporting goods store. All the while, contemplating on whether to go to seminary or not.

Some time later, UM called and asked if he wouldn’t mind becoming a graduate assistant for the Baptist school’s basketball program, Taylor said.

“That just shows what kind of sense of humor God has, too,” he said.

Taylor’s first coaching job came at Baldwin County High School as an assistant, where he was for one year.

Coffee County Schools superintendent Blake Bryant then called Taylor about a head-coaching job at Kinston.

This was Taylor’s first job as a head coach, and he admitted that he didn’t know whether he could do the job or not.

“The thing I remember most about that is that they had worked it out where I could go to spring training for two weeks,” Taylor said. “I remember hitting the road between Andalusia and Opp, and pulled over to the side of the road, and I thought God, I’m not prepared for this. I don’t know anything about it.”

From there, it’s history.

After spending two years as the head coach at KHS, Taylor was called back to Andalusia to take the reigns at Straughn, where he’s been ever since.

In his 23 years at SHS, Taylor has had three children — Ryne, Tiffany and Paige — and all three have been involved in athletics.

All this time, Taylor said his wife, (AES principal) Patty, and he have been lucky to get to spend so much time with their children. Ryne played football under his father, Tiffany was a two-sport student athlete at SHS and Paige is a sophomore three-sport athlete at the school.

“I hear coaches talk about how they lost time with their family in coaching,” Trent said. “I decided to go a different route. I decided I was just going to get mine involved in it.

“I remember Ryne riding the lawnmower with me when I was cutting the field,” he said. “Then, he and Tiffany and Paige would fight over who would get the push broom (to sweep the field house).”

Taylor said each of his children is thinking of going into coaching.

More than 25 years of coaching later, Taylor said he still loves what he does.

“I still get that same feeling on Friday mornings when I wake up realizing it’s game day,” Taylor said. “I just can’t imagine there being another job out there as fulfilling as coaching is.”