Tallahassee, FL - November 3, 2012
Florida A&M Head Football Coach Joe Taylor is stepping down following the 2012 season.
The 62 year old Taylor announced to his team he was retiring during their team breakfast, just hours before the Rattlers took on North Carolina A&T.
The timing of the news was a shock to Rattler fans, but it was something Coach had been thinking about for a while.
"My wife and I about this last Christmas around the table. We figured this was going to be it because forty years is just a long time to do anything," Taylor said.
Coach Taylor also got some advice from his old friend, former South Carolina State Head Coach Willie Jeffries.
"When he knew it was going to be his last year, he did it for a whole year. I thought it would be a bit much, but I thought I we could handle three simple because I wanted it to be a motivation reference to we needed 3 wins to surpass everybody except for my good mentor, late mentor in Eddie Robinson," Taylor said.
The Rattlers were in desperate need of a win heading into their contest with North Carolina A&T, instead fell short 16-3 to the Aggies assuring their first losing season under Taylor. Taylor thought his team would respond in a "win one for coach" mentality.
"It's a decision you make in terms of motivation and we've ben doing this for forty years , so you always kind of get a feel for the team and what can happen," Taylor said.
Taylor said the decision felt right and it was on his terms; receiving no pressure from administration.
"We've been in this business a long time and we don't say things just to say things so when I say something its truth. My wife and I sat around the table last Christmas and we put together a plan and the plan is going according to what we strategized," Taylor said.
Taylor has amassed 233 career wins during his coaching career; good enough for 3rd place in HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) history.
Taylor has a storied career and when asked how he'll be remembered, Coach was not at a loss for words.
"It's a hall of fame career. We've touched a lot of lives, a lot of lives have touched me. I know how Imgoing to be remembered, as one who just didn't want you to be a great football player, but a great person, a well rounded good person," Taylor said.