Lance Taylor // Notre Dame Running Backs Coach
- HOMETOWN: Mt. Vernon, AL
- YEARS AT NOTRE DAME: 2019-Present
- ALMA MATER: Alabama
Lance Taylor took over as Notre Dame’s running backs coach on February 12, 2019, the role previously held by Autry Denson, who accepted the head coaching job at Charleston Southern. Taylor’s playing days at the collegiate level came from 1999-03 as a walk-on wide receiver at Alabama, followed by three years at the professional level from 2004-06.
Beginning the Coaching Assent
Taylor entered the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant for two seasons at his alma mater under Nick Saban. Spending his first season in a full-time capacity as Appalachian State’s receivers coach in 2009, he moved onto the staff of the NFL’s New York Jets, spending three seasons tutoring tight ends and serving in a role focused on quality control.
In 2013, Taylor became the Carolina Panthers’ assistant receivers coach before then heading back to the collegiate level as Stanford’s running backs coach. It was here where he played a key part in developing what’s become a potent ground game for the Cardinal.
In the first of three seasons in Palo Alto, Taylor’s 2014 Cardinal unit averaged just under 159 yards per game. It was in Stanford’s final three games of that season where a breakthrough took place, with the Cardinal breaking the 200-yard barrier in each of the final three contests.
By 2016, Stanford’s running attack was in high gear, with Taylor coaching Christian McCaffrey to Heisman finalist status. The Cardinal averaged 223.7 yards per game, with McCaffrey being aided by another dynamic Stanford runner in Bruce Love, who rushed for 783 yards on 7.1 yards per carry.
Return to the NFL
Taylor returned to the NFL and the Carolina Panthers when he became the team’s receivers coach on February 2, 2017. During his first year, 14 different Panther receivers snagged a pass, while his 2018 tutoring allowed rookie D.J. Moore to smoothly transition to the NFL with 55 catches.
Welcome to the Irish
The success enjoyed by Taylor led to his hiring by Kelly, who cited Taylor’s experience at both the professional and collegiate levels as well as his recruiting prowess.