Troy Taylor Takes Over Stanford Football

Peyton Spinner, Sports Writer

After an incredible first eight years and disappointing last four years, David Shaw stepped down as the head coach of Stanford Football. The era of smash-mouth, mentally tough football he led is over. However, the program’s new head coach, Troy Taylor, looks to lead the program back to relevance with an explosive offense fueled by dynamic play calling and creative ideas.   

After four years at lower division school Sacramento State, coach Taylor comes off an incredible 2022 season, leading the Hornets to a 12-1 record and the first undefeated regular season in the school’s history. Taylor’s resume speaks for itself, having served as the offensive coordinator for Utah and the quarterback’s coach for Washington. Taylor’s jump from a lower division program to a Division one school is not common though Stanford fans may recall Jim Harbaugh did the same when he was hired in the late 2000’s.

Taylor, a former Cal and NFL quarterback, brings an entirely different offensive system and style to the Farm. Taylor is known for using the concept of “positionless football,” where players on his roster can line up at many different positions, creating havoc and confusion for opposing defenses. He is not scared to take risks and will indeed look to run up the scoreboard in high-scoring matchups. 

Since his hiring, Taylor has brought with him multiple offensive coaches from Sacramento State and has built his staff by stealing sought-after assistants from high level programs such as Wisconsin and Washington. In addition to his coaching staff, Taylor has made a few explosive additions to the Stanford football roster since he was first named head coach. To replace many key players that left during the coaching overhaul, Taylor has been working nonstop to recruit high-level talent, keep eligible players from the previous recruiting classes, and retain as many playmakers as possible. Most notably, star tight end Benjamin Yurosek announced that he would not enter the 2023 NFL Draft and instead return to Stanford for his senior year. Taylor, who is known to actively use tight ends in his offenses, will certainly look to transform the Pac-12 All-American Tight End into a nationally regarded All-American player. 

The coaching change was necessary with the continuously evolving college football landscape. While it may take a year or two for the program to be competitive again as it adjusts to the new staff and system, I believe Troy Taylor will right the ship that is the Stanford Football Program and put them back on the top of the Pac-12 standings where they belong. While they may look different, running aggressive plays instead of constantly attacking the ground game, Taylor will look to create a mix between the “old Stanford football” and “new Stanford football” to put them back into the national conversation.