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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Joni Taylor named new A&M women’s basketball head coach

Texas A&M announces the new womens basketball head coach Joni Taylor.
Photo by Photo courtesy of UGA Athletics

Texas A&M announces the new women’s basketball head coach Joni Taylor.

In a press release sent out on Wednesday, March 23, the Texas A&M women’s basketball program announced the head coach who will succeed Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame member Gary Blair: coach Joni Taylor.
Coach Taylor has been a part of the SEC since the late ‘90s when she was a forward for the Alabama Crimson Tide from 1997-01. Between 2002-15, she went on an assistant coaching journey that took her from Troy to Louisiana Tech, back to Alabama, to LSU and eventually Georgia by 2011.
“I have known Coach Blair since I was a player at the University of Alabama and he was at Arkansas. The way he led young women on and off the court and was a steward of our game is something I have always admired,” Taylor said. “He created a National Championship program during his 19 years at A&M; to be able to continue that legacy is an honor. I am excited to have the opportunity to be around him, learn from him and for him to show me the way.”
In 2015, Taylor had the tall task of replacing the Bulldogs’ coaching legend Andy Landers, a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, an 11-time SEC champion between regular and postseasons and a four-time NCAA Coach of the Year.
In Taylor’s seven seasons as Georgia’s head coach, she has gone 140-75, 63-48 in conference play, has made four NCAA Tournament appearances and won SEC Coach of the Year in 2021.
Taylor will once more be tasked with the job of replacing a tenured Hall of Fame coach, this time her predecessor being Blair.
In 2021-22, A&M women’s basketball saw its worst season since Blair’s first leading the Aggies — both being the only seasons in Blair’s storied career in which he has finished with a below-.500 season record.
The Aggies enter their new era primed for a program turnaround. While many expected an in-house promotion of co-associate head coach Kelly Bond-White, who has been with the Aggies in various capacities since 2003, Taylor went 21-10 in her first season with Georgia and has experienced this situation in the past, setting her and the team up for the 2022-23 season.
“I am extremely excited and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the Texas A&M women’s basketball program,” Taylor said. “I am excited to get there and meet the team and immerse myself and our family into Aggieland.”

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