Lady Eagles find their new head basketball coach
Vanessa Taylor introduced as the new womens head basketball coach
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Updated: Saturday, June 23, 2012 16:06
After more than a month of searching, N.C. Central University found its new women's head basketball coach. Vanessa Taylor was introduced as the 8th women's head basketball coach at NCCU on Wednesday, April 18 during a press conference in the Emma Marble Conference Room of the William Jones Building. Coach Taylor says she is excited about this new step in her journey.
"The support, and resources are here, so it’s important I come to work extremely hard,” Taylor said.
"My goal is to create the kind of culture within the team that allows our women to feel and embody that competitive greatness."
Taylor feels that the success she has recently experienced at Johnson C. Smith University has prepared her for this opportunity. Taylor leaves Johnson C. Smith University after 11 years, with a winning percentage over 65 percent, and led them to their best record in school history in 2010-11 at 26-5, while also picking up CIAA Coach of the Year honors.
"Her record speaks for itself, in terms of winning on the court, winning in the classroom, and her winning spirit", said Ingrid Wicker-McCree, NCCU athletics director.
NCCU will provide Taylor with her first opportunity as a head coach for a Division I program, but she says she feels no pressure.
Taylor is set to make a salary of $120,000 over the next five years, starting July 1.
"As a coach I think you have underlying pressure every day," said Taylor.
"So with this opportunity it’s more excitement than pressure.”
Wicker-McCree has no doubt Taylor will get the job done.
"Coach Taylor is genuine, very passionate, and empathetic, knowing how to put herself in other people's shoes before decisions are made," said Wicker-McCree.
Taylor will be thrown in the fire arriving on campus, as she has the tough task of rebuilding a women's basketball program that went 3-27 last season.
"Although the wins weren't there, there are some things very positive about the infrastructure,” said Taylor.
"What I want to do is come in, identify the positives, and build on that, making sure we go up from here."
Wicker-McCree says she knows the Eagle fans expect immediate greatness, which is a good thing but hopes they’re patient with the rebuilding process. According to Wicker-McCree the head coach should hire their own staff because they're held accountable for the program. She will leave that decision up to Taylor.
Taylor said that NCCU has plenty of selling points like the support from the athletic department, and a nice campus to offer potential recruits.
She understands the lack of support and enthusiasm for the women's basketball program but ensures the women's basketball program will be competitive every day.
"Everybody wants to be affiliated with a winner," Taylor said.
“We will work hard to create an environment where it’s exciting to watch NCCU women's basketball."