New SRHS Football Coach Brings NFL Experience to the Eagles’ Sideline
Salt River High School’s new football coach is bringing a new level of experience to the program and to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Former NFL player Kerry Taylor, 27, has proven himself at every football level and wants to bring that same energy and toughness to the SRHS football program. Taylor isn’t interested in anything besides a championship in year one, he said. He brings years of in-game experience and coaching experience as an assistant coach at Phoenix College. As SRHS coach, Taylor will continue his assistant coach role at Phoenix College.
Salt River plays in eight-man football and is a member of the Canyon Athletic Association. This year the team returns seven starters.
Taylor played wide receiver for a few NFL teams, including the Arizona Cardinals. He starred at Arizona State University and at Hamilton High School in Chandler. At Hamilton, Taylor won two state championships.
Taylor will not be the only one on Salt River’s sideline with pro football experience. Former NFL players and former ASU standouts Pierre Singfield and Justin Tryon join Taylor as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach, respectively. SRHS Athletic Director Brandon Tauscher doubles as an assistant football coach and will work with quarterbacks and wide receivers. Community member Hosteen Smith will coach the offensive and defensive lines.
“I wanted to surround my players with the best coaching staff in the state of Arizona,” Taylor said.
The season starts Aug. 26 against James Madison at Salt River High School.
Here’s a Q&A with Kerry Taylor, the new Eagles coach.
Q. What type of influence are you hoping to bring to the program?
A. The influence that I would like to have on the football program, and also the school as a whole, is a positive, high-energy culture. I want the kids to have fun, but also to learn about accountability and discipline. I want to develop better work habits and create a winning culture.
Q. What are your expectations, not only with the season, but with your players?
A. My expectation for this season is to bring home the trophy. I expect the football program to bring home its first championship. Anything less than a championship would be disappointing. The expectations that I have for my players are to learn accountability and understand what it takes to be great. I want my players to compete at a high level on the field and also in the classroom.
Q. How will your football experience help you as a coach of a program that hasn’t done all that well over the last few seasons?
A. My experiences playing football at the highest level will definitely play a big role and influence my players this season. Everything my players do this season will be completely different from anything they are used to and have done in the past, starting with the practice schedule for the week, the practice plan, offensive and defensive schemes, how we prepare and how we play. This will be a completely different football team than what people are used to seeing. We’re going to play fast and physical and win ball games.
This year’s starters might look different than what fans saw last year. This year is based off of a new culture and winning with players that have been accountable. Jerseys will be earned on game day, not just given out because [players] show up for the team. I have no problem cutting a player who isn’t giving the effort they should be, even if that player won an award last year.
Q. What can fans expect from your team both offensively and defensively when they attend a game on a Friday night?
A. Friday-night games are going to have a party-like atmosphere. The games will be fun for players and for the fans. The games will have a different style and energy than anything this school has seen before. You’re going to see a spread offense attack that’s going to score points and a defense that’s going to hit and be physical. The games will have a DJ playing music during pregame and throughout the game during breaks. You will see extra camera crew following the team around for the creation of a documentary of the season. It’s going to be a lot of bright lights and high energy. And a winning culture that’s on the rise.
HOME GAMES IN BOLD
Aug. 18, 6 p.m. - Multi team scrimmage
Aug. 26, 7 p.m. - James Madison
Sept. 2, 7 p.m. - Madison – Highland
Sept. 9, 7 p.m. - New Way Academy
Sept. 16, 7 p.m. - Ajo High School
Sept. 23, 4:30 p.m. - Desert Heights High School
Sept. 30, Bye week
Oct. 7, 7 p.m. - Gila Bend
Oct. 14, Bye week
Oct. 21, 7 p.m. - Orme School (Homecoming)
Oct. 28, 7 p.m. - James Madison