Del Oro coach offers 'Taylor Made' approach to life

Casey Taylor writes book on coaching tips and his philosophy for a successful life
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Coach Casey Taylor puts the heart into Del Oro High School’s football program. In his decade of serving as the head coach for the tradition-steeped Golden Eagles, he has found that winning off the field is just as important as winning on it. Taylor said his goal is to turn out players of character instead of just a winning team, and in the process, his team wins. Taylor has made it a point to surround himself with like-minded coaches who want to make a difference in kids’ lives. He credits his team of 14 coaches with the program’s success. Those coaches include Doug Warner, Steve Birch, Zach Strutz, Jason Sauve, John O’Sullivan, Jeff Dietrich, Mark Jeter, Chris Leishus and Greg Kreiger. Now, Taylor has captured his coaching tips and philosophy in a book titled “Taylor Made – Building Athletes of Character.” Taylor wrote the book with Jud Boies, a corporate speaker and director of the Ethical Practices Institute, and Jason Harper, an author and director of the Character Combine workshop for coaches. “In the future, I want my players to be productive in their community – to be great husbands and fathers,” Taylor said. He said the book contains principles for building character that can be applied by all coaches, whether they are coaching 5-year-olds in recreational soccer or teenagers on competitive-level teams. “A coach at any level, for any sport, has a responsibility and a big platform to make changes in kids’ lives,” Taylor said. Taylor wrote in his book that when he was 11 years old his father abandoned his family and left his mom to raise three sons on her own, in poverty. Taylor relied on coaches to be his mentors and role models and vowed to “become a man of integrity, driven by character.” Today, Del Oro athletes can see the care, concern and compassion he has for the young people he works with. Twins Brooke and Alexis Rockefeller, 18, have participated in Taylor’s advanced performance and conditioning classes offered during the summer. The girls earned athletic scholarships to California State University, Sacramento through Taylor’s efforts. “He’s really inspiring. He treats us like we’re his daughters. He’s good at seeing the big picture and getting you to your goal,” Alexis said. “He makes you want to be a better person, work hard – even when no one is watching,” Brooke said. Quarterback Max Magleby, 17, a senior, has been playing for Taylor since freshman year and sees the difference the character program has made in the team. Two years ago, Taylor brought in a motivational speaker who came to team meetings every week to talk about positive character traits. In his book, Taylor describes what he considers the “ABCs” of creating athletes who “make a positive contribution to their campuses and communities.” He wrote those athletes accept responsibility, are respectful and commit to their community. Taylor said both players and coaches are expected to model those traits during football and in their daily life. Max said he can see how character development has changed the team. “When I was a freshman, the varsity football players acted like they owned the school, like they were better than everyone else. Now, they help on campus and help other students, they help in the community, they try to be inclusive,” Max said. Max explained the character education has changed him. “Now, I try to set a good example. I want to be everything a good-mannered kid should be,” Max said. When asked how he thinks he’ll remember coach Taylor after he graduates, Max said, “I’ll remember him more as a best friend, a mentor, a father. He tries to treat everyone fairly. He cares for all of us and he loves us.” “I don’t want to be remembered for plays. I want to be remembered for lessons,” Taylor said. For more information on the final session of Taylor’s conditioning class on July 12 to 16 offered to athletes in grades 7 through 12, at a cost of $75, call the school at 652-7243. ----------------------------------------- TAYLOR MADE – BUILDING ATHLETES OF CHARACTER What: A book for coaches of all sports and levels on how to instill positive character traits in players. Who: Written by Coach Casey Taylor with Jud Boies and Jason Harper Price: $12 Available online: