Second-year University of Central Florida head coach Johnny Dawkins has hired a new assistant coach, a graduate of his alma mater. On Friday, UCF announced the hiring of Vince Taylor to an assistant-coach position.
“We’re extremely excited to have Vince join the UCF family,” Dawkins said, per UCF’s press release. “He’s a fantastic coach and an incredible recruiter who will help take our program to the next level. Vince has a wealth of experience working with great coaches in college and the NBA, and we are ready to take another step forward with him here in Orlando.”
Before joining the Knights, Taylor recruited for the University of Louisville (1990-2005), the University of Minnesota (2005-2013) and Texas Tech University (2013-2016). With the Cardinals, Taylor recruited a top-five class in 2001. At Minnesota, Taylor secured 10 top-150 recruits during his tenure there. Taylor coached the Red Raiders’ 4s and 5s and was named to the Hoop Scoop’s Top 60 Assistant Coaches list at No. 35.
“I’m truly excited to have this opportunity,” Taylor said, per the press release. “Johnny Dawkins embodies what is good about college basketball, and I can’t wait to work with him every day. The chance to come to UCF at this time is special. The pieces are here, and we’re just going to coach these guys up to take it to the next level. I’ve worked under some great coaches, and that is no different here. This staff has done a great job in just one year, and I’m just excited to keep that going.”
Taylor spent two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves. From 2005 to 2007, he was responsible for play development and scouting opponents. During his time there, the Wolves posted a 65-99 record.
As for his playing career, Taylor left Duke University just one season before Dawkins became a freshman there. He earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference and honorable mention All-American honors as a senior in the 1981-82 season, averaging a conference-high 20.3 points per game. In 1979, the Blue Devils won the ACC regular-season championship. His team also made it to the NCAA Tournament in 1979 and 1980 and the National Invitation Tournament in 1981.
After Duke, Taylor played one season for the New York Knicks, averaging 3.1 points per game in 31 games. He continued his professional career abroad in Italy, France and Belgium after competing for the then-Wisconsin Flyers of the Continental Basketball Association.
UCF posted its best-ever record in the American Athletic Conference last season, going 24-12 (11-7 in AAC). It was the Knights’ first-ever winning record in the AAC and Dawkins’ first season as head coach. After graduating just three seniors (Matt Williams, Nick Banyard and Tanksley Efianayi), the Knights will return with point guard B.J. Taylor, center Tacko Fall and a plethora of eligible transfers, including Dawkins’ son, Aubrey Dawkins.
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