Iowa men’s basketball assistant Billy Taylor leaving Hawkeyes to accept head coaching job at Elon

Taylor served two stints at Iowa, first as director of basketball operations and then as an assistant coach.


Emily Wangen

Iowa Men’s Basketball Director of Operations and Travel Coordinator Billy Taylor cheers from the side of the court during a game against the University of Illinois on Sunday, March 8, 2020, at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill. The Hawkeyes lost to the Fighting Illini, 76-78.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

Billy Taylor, an assistant coach on the Iowa men’s basketball team, is leaving Iowa City to accept the head coaching job at Elon, a North Carolina-based Division I school, The Daily Iowan confirmed on Friday.

Taylor interviewed for the position earlier this week. CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander first reported Taylor’s decision.

“I am humbled and honored to accept the head coaching position at Elon University,” Taylor said in a release. “I want to thank President Connie Ledoux Book and Director of Athletics Dave Blank for offering me the opportunity to serve the student-athletes in our basketball program. As a program, we will pursue excellence on the basketball court, in the classroom and in the community. Our family is excited to begin this new journey, and we look forward to joining the Elon community.”

This will be Taylor’s fourth head coaching job. He has previously served as head coach at Lehigh, Ball State, and Belmont Abbey (Division II) and holds a career record of 214-210.  While at Lehigh, Taylor was named Patriot League Coach of the Year twice and made one trip to the NCAA Tournament. Elon, a school in the Colonial Athletic Association, has never reached the NCAA Tournament.

Taylor’s departure leaves an open position on head coach Fran McCaffery’s staff. Taylor has had two stints in Iowa City, first as director of operations for McCaffery’s program from 2013-16. Taylor replaced Andrew Francis as an assistant coach for the Hawkeyes in 2019. During one of Iowa’s 26 wins during the 2021-22 season, Taylor was the acting head coach when McCaffery was in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

McCaffery and Taylor have a history together that goes back decades. Taylor coached with McCaffery at Notre Dame from 1998-99, then under McCaffery at UNC-Greensboro from 1999-2002.