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
Houston junior set to begin third season with the Cougars
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.
2014 marked a banner year for Taylor in his first season at Houston as he helped coach Houston to a 48-win season, tying the program record in wins (2002, 2000), while also leading Houston to its first NCAA postseason appearance since 2008 and first for him as the leader of the program.
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.
A former star player under head coach Wayne Graham at San Jacinto College, Taylor completed his 12th season at Rice in 2012 after being hand-picked by his legendary mentor to join the Owl staff in 2000.
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, Tex. The couple has four daughters. Macy Marie, Madisyn, Molly Kate and McKinley.