Normally, having your dad named to an assistant coach’s position on your high school football team qualifies as #ThatAwkwardMoment that no teenager wants any part of. Then again, there is nothing normal about Blaise Taylor’s father.
No, no, Blaise Taylor’s father is none other than college football’s pre-eminent towel-waver and chest-bumper Trooper Taylor, the former Auburn assistant head coach, wide receivers coach and resident all-around awesome dude. And on Tuesday, Trooper Taylor announced he would sit out of college football during the 2013 season, and instead take his towel-waving talents to an assistant’s role at Auburn High School instead.
The news is a total game-changer for Auburn High School, because, well, why else would Crystal Ball Run be writing about them today? Instead, they’ve now got a man roaming their sidelines with coaching experience at Tennessee, Oklahoma State and Auburn and a National Championship ring to boot. Plus they’ve also got someone to keep Blaise Taylor (a wide receiver who caught five touchdown passes last season) in line, and potentially hand out orange slices at halftime as well.
Of course, we’re partially teasing, and if we’re being totally honest with ourselves here, the story isn’t just the “who” of Taylor being named an Auburn High School assistant coach this year as much as the “why.” And admittedly, that’s where things get interesting.
For starters we should mention that are ancillary and logical reasons why Taylor would make this move. Taylor has stated for months that he wasn’t totally sure he even wanted to coach college ball in 2013; after all, he’s got two kids at Auburn High School, and when Gene Chizik’s staff was fired last fall, Trooper was given a friendly little buyout from the school that will still pay him a pretty buyout this coming fall.
Then again it’s also only fair that we mention that as things stand, the NCAA is still sniffing around Auburn’s program about potential recruiting violations that may have happened under Taylor’s watch or been committed by Taylor directly. That also explains why someone with Taylor’s resume hasn’t been gobbled up for an assistant coaching gig this winter.
By now, we all know that the NCAA has been investigating Auburn’s 2010 title team since well before they even won a title, but so far have come up empty.
Still, reports later surfaced from Yahoo Sports in November that Taylor had been pulled off the recruiting trail weeks before he was fired from the school, as the NCAA furthered investigated new reports against the assistant coach. The accusations centered mostly around 2012 signee Jovon Robinson.
That also likely explains why there never seemed to be serious consideration in bringing Taylor onto head coach Gus Malzahn’s staff when the new coach was hired in December. Remember, Malzahn and Taylor worked together for three years at Auburn before the former left to take the head coaching job at Arkansas State last winter.
Whatever the case, Trooper Taylor will be back on the sidelines this fall even if it isn’t in a role any of us imagined.
And it’s safe to say that what is Auburn University’s loss is Auburn High School’s gain.
Now quick, somebody get this man a towel!
For all his opinion, insight and analysis, please follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.
Follow Crystal Ball Run on Twitter @CrystalBallRun.