Even after former Tennessee assistant football coach Trooper Taylor had accepted the co-offensive coordinator position at Oklahoma State, he hoped for an opportunity to become UT’s offensive coordinator.
Taylor said when the front- runner for the job, Detroit Lions receivers coach Kippy Brown, decided to stay with Detroit as the passing game coordinator, Taylor thought he might once again become a candidate.
That opportunity never came about as Taylor realized coach Phillip Fulmer was planning to go in a different direction.
“I think Phillip has a bigger plan and something that he wants to do different,” Taylor said on the News Sentinel Sports Page radio show. “Once he sets his mind, that is what he is going to do.
“That is what makes him a good coach, because once he sets his mind to doing something and jumps in with both feet he usually gets it done. This is just one of those times that I truly believe he just wanted to go a different route.”
Taylor might prove to be a better fit for Oklahoma State than he would have been for UT. He’ll have an opportunity to work with the Cowboys’ spread offense, which Taylor said is his background.
“I really like giving the ball to athletes in space,” said Taylor, who coached running backs and receivers during his four years at UT. “That is something I truly believe in and then I believe in matchups.
“When you can take a kid and match a skill guy up on a linebacker or get him in space and get him the football and then watch him do something. That is the reason why you recruit those types of athletes, in my opinion.”
Taylor said he doesn’t expect Fulmer to change his offensive philosophy, which relies on a traditional, pro-style approach.
“He is not afraid to step out of his box and bring somebody in that can tweak some of it,” Taylor said of Fulmer.
“As long as it has his fingerprint on it he will do what he believes in and that is the offense that has won a national championship and has put up points in this league and helped him compete in this league and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.”
Taylor said his preference would have been to stay at UT if he were going to be elevated to a coordinator position. He didn’t see that opportunity with the Vols, but he did at Oklahoma State.
It was a step he felt necessary to take in order to reach his ultimate goal, a head coaching position.
“Every time you get an interview for a head coaching job one of the questions they ask is, ‘Have you ever called plays?’ and that box would be checked off from here on out,” he said. “The second one is, ‘Have you had any head coaching experience?’
“Until you get that first one checked off you will not get the second one checked off. That was a big part of it and none of that ever occurred (at UT).”