Craig Taylor will begin his sixth season as an assistant coach with the Trine University women’s basketball program in 2019-20.
Taylor brings more than 35 years of coaching experience and a winning tradition to the Trine staff and became an assistant to the women’s program in 2014. During that time, the Thunder have vaulted up the conference ranks to the top of the MIAA.
Most recently, the Thunder picked up right from where they left off in 2018-19 from the year before and captured both the MIAA Regular-Season and Tournament Championships with back-to-back seasons of a school-record tying 26 wins (26-3 overall). Trine also finished a perfect 16-0 against conference opponents, marking the first time the team has done so in program history since joining the MIAA. Trine also made a third-straight trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament and advanced to the second round where the Thunder fell to eventual national champion Thomas More (Ky.) University. Senior Brandi Dawson earned MIAA "MVP" honors for the third time in her career and was one of two players to earn All-MIAA accolades. She also went on to be named All-American by both D3hoops.com and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Fellow senior Cassidy Williams also had a standout season as a first-team All-MIAA honoree and also earned All-Region accolades. In the final national rankings, Trine was seventh in the D3hoops.com poll and 13th in the WBCA poll.
In 2017-18, Trine won a school single-season record 26 games (26-4) on its way to a share of the MIAA regular-season title as well as an appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the second straight season. In the national tournament, the Thunder advanced to the "Sweet 16" for the first time in program history since joining the NCAA. Brandi Dawson repeated as the MIAA "MVP" and Div. III All-American, while Hayley Martin earned MIAA "Defensive Player of the Year" and All-Region honors for the second consecutive season. Trine ended the year ranked ninth overall in the nation in the final D3hoops.com and WBCA polls.
In 2016-17, Trine went on an historic run to its first NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament appearance. Along the way, the Thunder won its first MIAA Championship and first MIAA Tournament title. The team produced All-American and MIAA Most Valuable Player Brandi Dawson and MIAA Defensive Player of the Year Hayley Martin. Trine finished eighth in the nation in scoring defense. The team concluded the season ranked 17th by D3hoops.com and 18th by the WBCA.
Taylor’s coaching responsibilities include post players, off-season conditioning, player development, and defense.
Before coaching at Trine, Taylor served as assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne from 2005-2014. While at USF the Lady Cougars went undefeated, 38-0, and won the 2014 NAIA II National Championship. The Cougars made the NAIA II Final Four twice in 2014 and 2006; the NAIA II Elite Eight four times- 2006, 2007, 2013, 2014; the NAIA II Sweet Sixteen five times- 2005, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2014; NAIA II Final 32 tournament seven times. The Cougars were the Crossroads League Regular Season Champions in 2006, 2013, and 2014 and the Crossroads League Tournament Champions in 2006, 2010, 2013, and 2014.
Taylor also served as an assistant girls’ coach at Canterbury High School where the team won a sectional title. Prior to his stint at Canterbury, he was a girls’ assistant coach for three years at Bishop Luers High School where the teams won two consecutive IHSAA State Tournament Championships in 2001 and 2002. He served as a boys’ basketball coach for 18 years at South Side High School and was part of seven sectional championships and two regional championships.
Taylor currently teaches English at Prairie Heights High School.
He resides in Angola, Indiana, with his fiancée, Erin.