Joe Taylor once tried to retire. It didn’t stick.
“The Lord wasn’t done with me,” he said.
Not even close, thankfully.
Thirteen months after Taylor retired from college football coaching at the end of 2012, Virginia Union hired him as athletic director. Six years later, university president Hakim Lucas promoted Taylor to vice president of intercollegiate athletics, and this past football season the 71-year-old Taylor embarked on another adventure. .
“When it’s a labor of love, it’s hard to think of it as work,” Taylor said of his first year on the 13-member College Football Playoff selection committee.
But the job involves balancing a day job with the countless hours and frequent travel that come with CFP responsibilities, and Taylor has multi-tasked with the discipline and organization he honed in 30 seasons as a college head coach.
From 1983 to 2012, Taylor forged a winning percentage of £0.706 at Howard, Virginia Union, Hampton and Florida A&M. His teams have won four Black College National Championships, and in 2019 Taylor was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
With a dozen or more honorees each year, the Hall nominates one to deliver a collective acceptance speech for the class at the National Football Foundation’s annual black-tie gala. Taylor was the one, and among the onlookers that December evening in New York was CFP executive director Bill Hancock.