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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Coach Taylor: ‘I have the best job in the country’

Head coach Dave Taylor looks at his bench during a game against Sonoma State. Photo credit: Jacob Auby

When Chico State baseball head coach Dave Taylor sits new players down to explain how the program and the team dynamic works, he promises to help them achieve two things. One, that they will graduate in four years with a degree and he will do everything he can to help them. Two, that they will play in at least one College World Series in their time here.

To the average person, such bold statements would be met with laughs and disbelief, but the numbers speak for themselves. Since becoming the head coach in 2007, Taylor’s record is 327-170 with six NCAA Championship tournament appearances. He has also reached the Division II College World Series twice.

Junior pitcher Clayton Gelfand is in his third year playing for Taylor and he still remembers the first time he sat in his office.

“The first time he talked to me he told me that I would go to the World Series two out of my four years here,” Gelfand said. “I thought that was really cool, and I wanted to be a part it.”

Head coach Dave Taylor heads back to the dugout after meeting with the pitcher on the mound in a game against Sonoma State. Photo credit: Jacob Auby

Taylor has built a winning culture here at Chico State and it works because there is trust and respect from the coaches down to the players. Everyone wants to win and expectations are extremely high.

“We have expectations and goals that we expect to be met,” Taylor said. “When these expectations aren’t met we try to teach the players how they can meet them in the future.”

When the head coach wants to win just as bad as the players, you have a recipe for success. Taylor’s attention to detail and competitive nature brings out the best in his players, such as senior second baseman Andrew Carillo.

“Coach T. demands perfection, and he wants to win just as bad as anyone I’ve ever met,” Carillo said. “I think it’s rubbed off on me in a positive way. He builds a lot of people up to be winners in life.”

Head coach Dave Taylor looks on during a game against Sonoma State. Photo credit: Jacob Auby

Coaching wasn’t always easy for Taylor, especially right after he retired from the Milwaukee Brewers double-A squad where he was a catcher for over two years.

“It was hard transitioning from being a player to being a coach, but being a catcher my whole life was a huge help,” Taylor said. “As a catcher you see the whole field and everything that happens during a game. It also helped with the leader aspect because a catcher is the leader on the field.”

There are a million jobs out there in the world but not all of them are as competitive, challenging or meaningful for another person’s life as being a head coach at the collegiate level.

“I love that I get to influence these student athletes on the field and off the field,” Taylor said. “I have the best job in the country.”

Jason Spies can be reached at [email protected] or @Jason_Spies on Twitter.

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