Emily Taylor didn’t have to travel far to find her next coaching job. Prior to becoming the head volleyball coach at Waynesburg University last February, she was an intern assistant coach for three seasons at Washington & Jefferson College.
Before her coaching days, she was a two-year captain of the volleyball team at Penn State Greater Allegheny. Taylor is now the third coach that Waynesburg has had in four years.
Q: Why did you decide to be a head coach at Waynesburg?
A: “Going into my third season at W&J, I was the assistant for two years and going into my third season. It was like I think I’m ready to take on more responsibility, and I’m looking for a head coaching job. When the Waynesburg job opened it was kind of perfect. I grew up in Beaver County which is an hour and a half north of Waynesburg and my family lives there. So, I was trying to find a head coaching job that allowed me to stay in the area.”
Q: What made you think that you could take on that responsibility of being a head coach when you were coaching at W&J as an assistant?
A: “I think my boss there, Lauren London-Law just empowered me to do anything I wanted to. She involved me in all decisions made for our program. She gave me extra responsibility in running, strength and conditioning, planning practice and recruiting. So, I thought I was prepared to be a head coach because I could do almost everything as an assistant.”
Q: As head coach, what are some of the things that you want to stress to your players?
A: “It’s always supporting each other no matter what. It’s easy to support each other when you’re winning or your team is playing well, but it’s hard to support your teammates when they make a mistake. So, being there and being a support system and a good teammate to them when they’re down is even more important than being there when they’re having a great game. Also, working hard in everything you do.
Q: How much of what you learned as a player do you apply to when you’re coaching?
A: “When I was a player, I tore my ACL my freshman year, and missed my second year. Having to take that year off and step back, and not be actively involved on the court prepared me to be a good leader. I had to take on a new role and learn how to be a part of a team while I wasn’t playing. I spent a lot of time helping my teammates find spots on the floor to try and hit and supporting and giving them suggestions from the sidelines.”
Q: You guys have had some workouts this fall. What have you learned from yourself as a head coach?
A: “The biggest thing I learned is I kind of control the energy. If I come in with a lot of energy and I’m excited, running a drill and getting involved and cheering, the players on the sidelines are going to do the same thing. Then, the players on the court are going to have a lot more energy. As the head coach, they are looking to me to run the gym and bring the energy.”