Nevada Athletics Director Doug Knuth announced Wednesday the hiring of Josh Taylor as the Wolf Pack’s head softball coach. Taylor, who played baseball at Nevada, was the Pack’s assistant softball coach for the past four seasons.
“We are pleased to bring Josh Taylor back to Nevada to lead our softball program. Josh is a highly respected coach, recruiter and teacher of the game,” Knuth said. “Equally important is the fact that he is widely acknowledged for his integrity and care for the students on his teams. He has previous head coaching experience and deep knowledge of the university and our surrounding communities. I am excited to hire a Wolf Pack alum to lead our program.”
Taylor returns to Reno after a two-month stint as the head softball coach at the College of Southern Nevada. He replaces Matt Meuchel, who recently accepted a position at Arkansas after eight years guiding the Nevada program.
“I am very excited to be the next head softball coach at the University of Nevada. I would like to thank Doug Knuth for entrusting me with the program,” Taylor said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity and eager to continue to develop the current and incoming student-athletes. I believe that Nevada softball can compete for Mountain West and regional championships. We will be relentless in our pursuit to find the right student-athletes to make this happen.”
He takes over a team that figures to have a local flavor. Former Reed shortstop Kenzi Goins will be a true freshman for the Pack this spring. Her now former teammates, pitcher Julia Jensen and outfielder Jessica Sellers, are also verbally committed to Nevada. Both are seniors at Reed.
Last year with the Wolf Pack, Taylor helped lead the team to one of its most successful seasons since joining the Mountain West. The team collected 32 wins and finished in a tie for third place, its highest finish as a member of the Mountain West. Overall, Nevada posted a 19-game improvement from the previous year. In his four years with the program the team posted three winning seasons and over 100 wins.
Prior to joining the Pack, Taylor served as the head coach at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif. Taylor, who was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Feather River baseball team in his first stint from 2004-07, led the Golden Eagle softball program to three consecutive Super Regional appearances from 2010 to 2012. His overall record in his four years at Feather River was 113-59.
The 2012 season was highlighted by Taylor’s third-consecutive 30-win season and his 10th playoff victory in the regional playoff. In 2011, Feather River reached its second-straight super regional in a season that also saw Taylor receive the Gatorade Coach of the Year award.
In 2010, Taylor was named Golden Valley Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Golden Eagles to their first GVC title since 2006. The Taylor-led offense topped the GVC in team batting average, runs, RBI, doubles and triples. While at Feather River, Taylor oversaw all major aspects of the program including travel and budget, academic progress of student-athletes, recruiting efforts, facility and maintenance upkeep and weight training. Taylor also developed and implemented fundraising efforts for the program.
Taylor previously served as associate head coach for the Marysville Gold Sox, a collegiate summer league team, from 2008-11. On top of running all aspects of hitting and fielding instruction, Taylor coached multiple players who went on to earn Div. I scholarships and two big leaguers in Cody Anderson and Max Stassi. Prior to joining the Gold Sox, Taylor spent a season as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at San Joaquin College in Stockton, Calif. from 2007-08.
A former Wolf Pack baseball player, Taylor had an impressive senior season in 1994 where he appeared in 41 games, starting in 25, and hit .284 with a home run and 12 RBI. That year the Pack compiled a record of 41-15 while going 16-5 in the Big West Conference en route to capturing its first Division I conference championship. Nevada was ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation and finished the season ranked 17th. Taylor was inducted into the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015 as part of the 1994 baseball squad.