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Tasha Taylor Joins Women's Basketball as Assistant Coach

by Jenna VanHoose

ORLANDO - Tasha Taylor has been hired as an assistant coach for the UCF women’s basketball program, head coach Sytia Messer announced on Wednesday. 

“We are excited to have Tasha join our staff,” said Coach Messer. “She’s a rising star in the business who has proven herself as an assistant coach and former elite player. We’re looking forward to Tasha helping to enhance our program.”

Taylor comes to UCF from Marquette, where she spent the past two years, helping lead one of the league's top defensive units in two seasons at Marquette. The Golden Eagles led the Big East in field goal percentage defense in 2022-23, holding opponents to just 58.2 points per game while shooting just 38.9 percent from the field. 

Taylor helped the Golden Eagles to consecuitive postseason appearances, including the 2023 NCAA Tournament as a No. 9 seed in 2023. Taylor was instrumental in helping Mackenzie Hare and Emily La Chapell earn Big East All-Freshman Team honors in 2022-23. Marquette ranked as one of the most efficient offenses in the Big East, averaging 16.5 assists per game with a 1.22 assist-to-turnover ratio.

In her first season with the Golden Eagles, she helped the squad to a 23-11 record, advancing to the third round of the WNIT. Marquette ranked among the nation's elite in ball movement and passing efficiency. They averaged 18.0 assists per game to rank eighth in the NCAA while holding a 1.21 assist/turnover ratio. Additionally, MU ranked near the top of the league in both field goal percentage (.435) and 3-point field goal percentage (.345).

Before Marquette, Taylor spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Elon University after joining the staff in October 2014. At Elon, she helped recruit and develop four CAA All-Conference selections, the CAA Defensive Player of the Year, CAA Rookie of the Year and CAA Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Along with guiding the program to its first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament during the 2016-17 season.

Prior to her time at Elon, she was an assistant coach at Limestone College, helping the team to back-to-back Conference Carolinas regular-season championships. As well as claiming the 2014 Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship and two NCAA Sweet 16 appearances along with an Elite Eight appearance in 2014. 

 Preceding Limestone, Taylor served as the assistant women’s basketball coach at Lees-McRae College. She played a leading role in the scouting and recruitment of student-athletes and was also responsible for the preparation of scouting reports and the skill development of guards and post players. While with the Bobcats, the team’s overall record improved in each successive season.

 A four-year starter for the Clemson women’s basketball program, Taylor played under Elon assistant coach Cristy McKinney from 2005-2009. She ranks fourth all-time in Clemson history with 433 career assists and fifth all-time with 3.70 assists per game.

Taylor led the Tigers in assists during her sophomore and senior campaigns and was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 while also earning the Playmaker Award following the 2005-06 and 2008-09 seasons. Off the court, she represented the team for three years on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

 A native of Columbus, Georgia, Taylor graduated from Clemson in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management with an emphasis in sports management and a minor in athletic leadership.