Stanford has found its new head football coach. The school announced Saturday that it is hiring Sacramento State coach Troy Taylor to replace David Shaw. Shaw resigned after the Cardinal’s final game of the season.
“I am excited to welcome Troy and his family to Stanford,” Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir said in a statement. “Troy is a proven winner who has experienced success at many levels of football. Throughout our visits together he demonstrated an understanding of what makes Stanford special, and a deep desire to capitalize on our unique strengths. He possesses an incredible football mind and has a long history of caring deeply for the student-athletes he leads. I am excited for the next chapter of Cardinal football and eager for our student-athletes to experience Troy’s passion, wisdom and leadership.”
Taylor, 54, has been the head coach at Sacramento State for four years and three seasons. The Hornets are 30-8 in his tenure and went 12-1 in 2022. Its only loss came in a 66-63 defeat to Incarnate Word in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs on Friday night.
Sacramento State has lost one Big Sky game in Taylor’s three seasons with the team. The team was the No. 2 seed in the FCS playoffs this season and beat Richmond in its first game of the postseason.
Before coaching at Sacramento State, Taylor was Utah’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for two seasons. He was Eastern Washington’s co-offensive coordinator for a season in 2016 and has also coached at Cal and served as a graduate assistant at Colorado.
Taylor played quarterback at Cal and was the school’s all-time leading passer before Jared Goff broke his record in 2015. Stanford said that former Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were on the search committee.
“Coach Taylor’s energy and passion for football are infectious,” Luck said in a statement. “He is a proven winner who loves coaching and developing his players on and off the field. His football acumen and ingenuity are impressive, and I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes at Stanford.”
At Stanford, Taylor takes over a program that has slid into mediocrity over the past few seasons. After going 9-4 in 2018, Stanford is 14-28 over the past four seasons. Its 4-2 campaign in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season is the only winning season since 2018.
Stanford has also lost 13 starting players from its 2022 team to either transfers or the NFL draft. That group includes starting quarterback Tanner McKee. He declared for the draft earlier in the week.
The recent struggles were a big reason for Shaw’s resignation. He took over for Jim Harbaugh in 2011 and the Cardinal had five 10-win seasons in his first six as head coach. But Stanford went 1-8 in the Pac-12 in 2022 and had just two conference wins in 2021.
Taylor’s hire comes days after former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said he wouldn’t be the team’s new coach. Garrett, currently an analyst for NBC, was reportedly a finalist for the job.