From Cougar Tracks the Magazine
Junior right-hander named to 50-player preseason watch list
Junior right-hander earns fourth preseason honor and second in consecutive days
Junior right-hander named to Preseason Second Team by Baseball America
Junior right-hander named to Perfect Game's Preseason All-American Second Team
20-year coaching veteran Mike Taylor joined the Houston Baseball staff as an assistant coach in February 2014. Taylor will take on the responsibility coaching the hitters and catchers as well as serve as the third base coach.
AT HOUSTON (2015)
Taylor helped the Cougars to a regular-season conference title and to its 20th NCAA Regional appearance. Houston was awarded as an NCAA Regional host for the first time since 2000 and just the third time in program history as Cougar Field represented one of 16 host sites around the country.
Houston played in what was considered the third toughest league in the country and won the most conference games (16) since 2006 (18). The Cougars also advanced to the American Championship game for the second consecutive season.
Seven Cougars earned American Athletic Conference honors -- the most by any team in the league as junior OF Kyle Survance paced the group as a First Team selection.
As the hitting coach, Taylor saw the offense belt 44 homeruns -- the most since hitting 44 in 2010. Junior Chris Iriart recorded a 15-homerun season -- which was the most homeruns hit by a Cougar since 2006.
Four Cougars finished above the .300 mark and Taylor saw freshman Corey Julks emerge late in the season, tallying five homeruns, while finishing with a .302 clip.
Off the field, Houston Baseball had 24 student-athletes carry a 3.0 GPA. The team notched a program-record 3.09 overall GPA for the 2014-15 academic year, while posting its fourth-highest spring GPA of 2.97. The Cougars had 100% in good academic standing and the student-athletes went on to pass an average of 13.9 hours during the season.
Taylor saw eight Cougars selected in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft as RHP Jake Lemoine and RHP Patrick Weigel were drafted in the 4th and 7th Rounds, respectively. Lemoine became the highest drafted Cougar since 2009 and the duo joined OF Kyle Survance as the three became the first Cougar trio drafted among the Top 10 Rounds since 2003.
Also selected were 1B Chris Iriart (12th), RHP Kyle Dowdy, RHP Taylor Cobb (26th), OF Ashford Fulmer (28th) and C Ian Rice (29th).
AT HOUSTON (2014)
Not only did Houston earn the automatic berth to the NCAA postseason after claiming the American Baseball Championship tournament title (a first for Houston since 2008) with a win over Louisville, the Cougars were awarded the No. 2 seed in the Baton Rouge Regional where they went on to defeat LSU twice at Alex Box Stadium in back-to-back games to capture the NCAA Regional Championship, earning a spot as one of the last 16 teams remaining in Super Regional play. Houston met Texas in the Austin Super Regional where they were defeated twice, falling two wins shy of Omaha.
With a record of 48-18 on the year, the Cougars were ranked nationally for 13 straight weeks during the season, polling in as high as No. 5 in the nation the week prior to the NCAA Super Regional.
As the third base coach, who worked closely with the offensive unit, Taylor saw nine Cougars earn All-American Athletic Conference honors, led by freshman Andrew Lantrip, who was tabbed the league's Rookie of the Year and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. Sophomore Justin Montemayor and senior Caleb Barker were honored as First Team honorees, while sophomores Kyle Survance, Jake Lemoine, junior Aaron Garza, seniors Casey Grayson, Chase Wellbrock were honored as Second Team honorees, joining freshman Connor Hollis as a Third Team selection.
Houston garnered numerous postseason All-Tournament team honors as sophomores Josh Vidales and Kyle Survance led the charge with American Baseball Championship and Baton Rouge Regional Most Outstanding Player recognition, respectively.
PRIOR TO HOUSTON
At Rice, Taylor helped the Owls to 12 straight Conference Championships and played an intergral role on the 2003 National Championship coaching staff.
Over 85 former players under Taylor's guidance have been selected in the Major League draft, including third baseman Anthony Rendon in 2011, who was the sixth player selected overall.
After working primarily with the infielders at Rice, the core group was considered to be one of the best infield groups in college baseball. Taylor was part of the 2003 National Championship coaching staff that had an errorless streak of 85.2 innings at one point, which was then followed by another of 73.1 frames without a defensive miscue.
Prior to Rice, Taylor worked eight seasons coaching on the junior college level.
Previously he spent two seasons as an assistant at Galveston College, helping the Whitecaps to a two-year record of 84-34 and a conference championship in 2000. Galveston finished the season ranked fourth nationally.
Prior to Galveston College, Taylor, a Houston native, spent six seasons as an assistant at Blinn College in Brenham. Those Buccaneer teams won two conference titles and never failed to finish below the top three in the league. Blinn went 259-103 in those six seasons, ranking as high as number-three in the nation in 1993.
After a solid high school campaign in which he was named Houston's high school player of the year in 1986, Taylor played on one National Championship team under Graham at San Jacinto as a freshman in 1987, and on a national runner-up squad in 1988. Graham has called him "the best shortstop I've ever coached."
From San Jacinto, Taylor started his professional career, playing five seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. He retired from playing in 1992 after his third season with the Knoxville Blue Jays of the Class AA Southern League.
While coaching at Blinn, Taylor completed his undergraduate degree in human performance at Prairie View A&M, earning his B.S. degree in 1997.
Taylor and his wife Amy live in Pearland, Texas. The couple has four daughters. Macy Marie, Madisyn, Molly Kate and McKinley.