WATCH: WLBT’s Patrick Johnstone sits down with JSU’s head football coach, T.C. Taylor
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Nearly one month ago, Jackson State University announced T.C. Taylor as the 22nd head football coach in the program’s history.
Taylor officially took over the role following the Celebration Bowl, and Taylor has been busy since then.
“I just had to hit the ground rolling, doing a lot of recruiting, getting the staff together, making sure our former players are getting back in here,” Taylor said. “We started school this week, so it’s been a lot going, on getting pulled in a lot of different directions, but it’s been awesome.”
Taylor still doesn’t have an official coaching staff assembled, but said the process is coming along.
“I always had a pool of guys I want to draft from,” he said, “[I’m] just making sure they’re a good fit, as far as my vision, what I want this program to look like, making sure they’re good mentors, and able to lead these young men, and continue the success we’ve had here.”
Taylor has been a Division-I coach since 2012, where he started at Texas Southern University as wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. Over the last 11 years, Taylor has held positions at TSU, North Carolina Central University, and JSU, where he has been since 2019.
Over the course of his coaching career, Taylor has learned what’s important to have success in college football.
“Work matters,” he said. “Whatever you put into it, that’s what you’re going to get out of it. I relay that to the staff and our young men; we want to work on a day-to-day basis. Anytime God allows you to put two feet on the ground, you want to give Him your best effort, day-to-day.”
On top of his experience as a part of the JSU coaching staff, Taylor is also an alumnus of the university and played for the Tigers from 1998-2001. He has first-hand knowledge about what makes the university and program so special.
“Tradition,” he said. “We have a phenomenal fanbase here at Jackson State University, they really do a good job of coming out and supporting all of our sports here, they do a great job of getting behind this program as a whole.”
In the last couple of years, the Jackson State football team, and the university as a whole, have received national attention. Taylor doesn’t expect expectations to be changed by recent success, in fact, he believes expectations have always been high for the program.
“If you think about it, the fan base here, our ADs, presidents, they always expect Jackson State to win,” Taylor said. “The last couple of years have been special, they’ve been some great runs for us. To go 12-0 last year and up losing the championship game, to have two SWAC championships under our belt, expectations continue to climb. I understand the responsibility of that, and I’m ready to continue to lead that charge.”
Taylor expects to continue that success; with a rebuild for the program unnecessary.
“I want to be successful. I want to win,” he said. “I want to win right now, I don’t have time to build, give me two, three years, that’s what not what college football is about right now. Everybody wants to win, I understand that, so I want guys in here that are hungry and understand those things that I just talked about. I want to win right now and I’d like to get to that Celebration Bowl and bring a national championship to Jackson.”
“Continue to support, continue to come out, we’re going to put a good product on the field,” he said. “We’re preparing for ‘23, they’re excited about it. I’m excited about the young men that chose to come back, i really appreciate those guys, I’m really excited about the mid-year signing class we’ve got in here. So, I want them to continue to support, we’re going to #GuardTheeYard, and understand we accept the responsibility of being Jackson State.”
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