The 2004 and 2005 MEAC Coach the Year, Joseph Taylor just concluded his 14th season at the helm of the Pirates’ football program and his 23rd
season overall as a head coach. Taylor, who also serves as Hampton’s interim Director of Athletics, continues to show that while offensive strategies
and defensive schemes can win games, true professionalism and great work ethic are the foundation for successful programs.
The winningest coach in Hampton University football history, Taylor has reached peaks never before seen by the Pirate program. Since his arrival, he has guided the Pirates to three Black College Championships, seven conference titles, a Heritage Bowl Championship and six trips to the NCAA playoffs. As overseer of the Pirates Taylor has compiled a 14-year record of 120-42-1. His career mark of 181-71-4 (.707) places him on the national level as the fourth winningest active coach in NCAA Division I-AA football when ranked by total victories.
Coach Taylor’s hard work, determination and commitment to excellence has made him a pioneer amongst his peers as evident by his multiple leadership positions. A member of the Board of Directors for the Black Coaches Association, Taylor was most recently recognized by Sports Illustrated as one of four finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of Distinction Award. The 2001 President of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), he is the chairman the AFCA Minority Issues Committee and the Board of Directors of the American Football Coaches Foundation. In addition, Taylor also acts as a member of both the Advisory Board for the Wilson Sporting Goods Corporation and the NCAA Division I-AA All-American Selection Committee. He has been selected as the Coach of the Year by several professional organizations such as the Washington, D.C. Pigskin Club, the Norfolk Sports Club, the American Football Coaches Association, and the Atlanta, Florida and Richmond Touchdown Clubs. In 2000 Taylor was honored with the Johnny Vaught Lifetime Achievement Award by the All-American Football Foundation and a year later he was inducted into the Western Illinois University Hall of Fame. His community involvement has also been plentiful, currently serving on the Citizens Unity Commission, a subsidiary of the Hampton City Council.
Taylor began his professional career as a physical education instructor with the District of Columbia school system. He also served as an assistant football coach at H.D. Woodson High School where he helped the program win two city championships. In addition, as the head wrestling coach his teams won four consecutive city championships. Taylor also served as an assistant baseball coach on a team that won three city championships.
His collegiate career began as offensive line coach at Eastern Illinois in 1978. That same season the Panthers captured the Division II National Championship.
In 1980 he moved on to become the offensive coordinator at Virginia Union University and served in that capacity for two years. In 1982 he joined the Howard University staff as the defensive coordinator and was named head coach the following season.
Taylor returned to Virginia Union as head coach in 1984, guiding the Panthers to an undefeated regular season and a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Championship in just three short years. The 2004 season saw Hampton climb back atop the MEAC standings thanks to an astonishing defense and solid offensive and special teams play. The Pirate defense led the country in turnovers forced with 43, while they also led I-AA in kickoff return average as Jerome Mathis set a national record with five kickoff returns for touchdowns. Offensively, Hampton featured the second highest scoring unit in the nation at better than 43 points per game, including four 50-point efforts. Hampton responded with another conference championship in 2005, marking the second time eight years that the Pirates were able to walk away with back-to-back championships. Taylor, a 1972 graduate of Western Illinois University and a native of Washington, D.C. is married to the former Beverly Richardson and they are the proud parents of Aaron Joseph (26) and Dennis Anthony (22).