Stanford football has a new sheriff in town. Athletic Director Bernard Muir announced that Troy Taylor has been selected to be the new Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football.
This comes after former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett visited campus and withdrew his name from the running for the job on Thursday.
Taylor replaces David Shaw, who stepped down unexpectedly after Stanford’s season finale against BYU two weeks ago. Taylor has been linked to the job since early in the search, and it’s certainly easy to see why from his previous stints. In his fourth year at the FCS level, he has led the Sacramento State Hornets to a 12-0 record and an overall 30-7 record while he’s been at the helm. Currently, the Hornets rank 4th in the FCS in points per game at 41.
Additionally, Taylor boasts previous coaching experience in the Pac-12, as he was the offensive coordinator for the Utah Utes from 2017-2018. In 2018, the Utes made the Pac-12 championship game for the first time in school history. Utah ranked 51st and 76th respectively in total offense during his time in Salt Lake City.
While this will certainly be a step up in difficulty from the FCS level, his apprenticeship under successful coaches like Kyle Wittingham will certainly be applicable to his new job of leading the Stanford football program into the modern era.
As for next steps, the Cardinal have had many departures to the portal since Shaw’s resignation, and it will be important for Taylor to try and re-recruit some players back while also landing new players. In addition, with signing day around the corner on Dec. 21, Taylor must try to keep Stanford’s 2023 high school recruiting class intact, which currently has 14 commitments. To accomplish these tasks, the 54-year-old coach will need to assemble a new staff quickly.
It remains unclear whether Taylor will bring his staff from Sacramento State down to Stanford, or if he will take coaches from other schools.