ENID – If this whole coaching thing doesn't pan out, Trooper Taylor just might have a future in dinner theater.
Oklahoma State's new co-offensive coordinator was the featured speaker Monday evening in Enid at the third of five Cowboy Caravans to take place this month. Well before the athletic department's official program started, Taylor was going table to table warming up his own crowd. Shaking hands and stopping to chat as though he was on the political trail, Taylor even chased after a toddler at one point, hollering, "That's my future running back!”
With a microphone in hand, Taylor showed that he is part preacher and part coach.
"I don't apologize for being a Christian,” Taylor declared by way of explaining why he is regarded as a top-flight recruiter. "People talk about me being a recruiter and how I relate to kids, and like I tell the parents, I'm a Christian that does have some flaws, but I always treat (recruits) like I would want my sons treated.”
Taylor joined OSU's staff in the spring after a stint at Tennessee. For many OSU fans, Monday night was a chance to put Taylor's face — usually photographed on the sidelines in a backward baseball hat — to his name in person.
"He was fantastic,” said Robert Conner, who has been a season ticket holder since 1970. "Motivating and a good, straight-shooting feller. I appreciate his candor and not being afraid to tell everyone he's a Christian.”
Most of Taylor's spirited, 20-minute talk was centered around his family. The 10th of 16 children, Taylor joked to the 375 people in attendance that "when we ate dinner it looked something like this, too.”
Taylor explained to the crowd that his trademark backward hat is a tribute to his father, who wore a backwards baseball cap underneath his hardhat when he went to work.