Auburn to Name NC State’s Gary Taylor as New Head Coach

by Robert Gibbs 121

April 28th, 2018 College, News

Auburn University is expected to name current NC State associate head coach Gary Taylor as the Tigers’ new head coach, according to sources close to the program.  That will fill the vacancy left by Brett Hawke, the Australian Olympian who resigned after ten years as Auburn’s head coach.

Update: the move has now been announced on both Taylor’s and Auburn’s Twitter accounts

Taylor will come to Auburn after six years at NC State, the past two of which he spent as the associate head coach.  At NC State, Taylor worked primarily with the distance crew, including Anton Ipsen, the 2018 men’s NCAA champion in the mile.  Taylor’s distance background contrasts with Auburn’s longstanding reputation as a sprint factory.

He’ll be taking over a program that has struggled, relatively speaking, the past couple of seasons, with the men’s team finishing out of the top ten at NCAAs the past two years, and the women’s team finishing 16th last season.  Taylor will still have plenty of talent on the roster, including American sprinter Zach Apple and World Juniors champ Hugo Gonzalez of Spain.

Before his time at NC State, Taylor coached for four years at Florida State, and before that coached for Dynamo Swim Club in Georgia and the Twin Cities Swim team in Minnesota.  He is a 2001 graduate of the University of Minnesota.

Taylor’s expected hiring comes a little over a week after Wisconsin hired Cal assistant Yuri Suguiyama to fill the vacancy left by Whitney Hite’s departure, and TCU hired James Winchester after a tumultuous few months for that program.  Meanwhile, a number of major Division I vacancies remain, most notably Florida and Virginia Tech.

We didn’t initially list Taylor when we looked at some of the buzz surrounding possible candidates for the Auburn gig, focusing on experienced head coaches.  But, NC State head coach Braden Holloway publicly removed himself from the running pretty quickly, and Cal head coach Dave Durden, who had previously been an assistant at Auburn, signed a new contract just few days ago.

However, Taylor’s hiring makes plenty of sense, especially after another former NC State coach, Todd DeSorbo, had quite the successful first season as head coach at the University of Virginia.

There’s no word yet on the status of Auburn’s current assistants, including Sergio Lopez.

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Right Dude Here
4 years ago

Fake news. Ya heard it here first.

Reply to  Right Dude Here
4 years ago

This is a super confusing comment, given that Gary Taylor, Braden Holloway, and Auburn all announced that he’s been hired over 2-and-a-half hours ago.

Just saying
4 years ago

Interesting, they are paying him 20K less than the top assistant last year and cut $100 K from the assistant coaching salaries. This makes sense as to why many alumni and others would not even consider. Looks like the AD’s last act as AD at Buffalo was to cut swimming and his first as AD of AU was to fire swimming coach. I’m getting the feeling he can’t swim. Also top swimmer transferring out

Reply to  Just saying
4 years ago

How do you know this?

4 years ago

Sam B would be a great hire for sprint coach. He’s been at Auburn before, has coached against, Gary. What more could you ask for?

4 years ago

Sergio to VA TECH….

Nick Carlson
4 years ago

Watch zac Apple transfer to IU

Reply to  Nick Carlson
4 years ago


NCAA swim alum
4 years ago

NCSU to hire Mark Bernardino to replace Gary.

Reply to  NCAA swim alum
4 years ago

Guessing this a joke but would be a fascinating move.

4 years ago

Would not be overly excited if I were an Auburn fan. Not going to win anything or improve standings if they become a distance focused team. Interested to see who he brings in for the sprint program.

Reply to  Joe
4 years ago

Gary is a coach who happened to coach distance. He’s smart. This sounds like an armchair quarterback. You don’t get to where Gary is by having a narrow concept of how things work. Any coach at the top of D1 coaching could coach any group and have success. Watch who he hires to compliment his strengths. If life were as simple as you make it, we’d be hunched over picking bugs of each other’s backs.

Reply to  Joe
4 years ago

Obviously their sprinting has always been very good but they actually used to have some great distance swimming back when they were in their prime, especially on the women’s side… Hayley Peirsol, Ava Ohlgren, Adrienne Binder.

And it’s common sense in the swimming world that a distance-focused team won’t be dominant, so I’m sure a successful and experienced coach like Gary won’t create a program full of milers.

Steve Wilson
4 years ago

Similar to the hiring of Brett Hawke. Great coach. Yet questionable as to the experience to lead a storied SEC program.

4 years ago

Gary is top notch! Wishing all the best to him and his family and Auburn!

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