Coaching in her first USA Basketball assignment as a court coach for the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team Trials, Joni Taylor, has been the head coach at the University of Georgia for five seasons (2015-16 to present), where as a head coach she has compiled a 98-58 record (.628 winning percentage).
Georgia finished 26-7 and earned two wins in the NCAA Tournament in 2017-18, and Taylor was named as a semifinalist for the Werner Ladder Naismith National Coach of the Year Award. The team’s 26 wins were the most wins for a Georgia squad since 2006-07, and the Bulldogs hosted the NCAA tournament first and second rounds in Athens for the first time since 2003.
Overall, Taylor owns 19 seasons of coaching experience at the Division I level. She was an associate head coach at Georgia for three seasons (2012-13 to 2014-15) and an assistant coach there in 2011-12. Prior to Georgia, Taylor was an assistant coach at Louisiana State University in 2010-11, an associate head coach at Alabama from 2008-09 to 2009-10, an assistant coach and associate head coach at Louisiana Tech from 2005-06 to 2007-08 and an assistant at Troy from 2002-03 to 2004-05.
In 2016, she won Spalding Maggie Dixon National Rookie Coach of the Year and Georgia College Coach of the Year honors after compiling 21 wins in her first season at the helm.
She has been heavily involved in the Athens community, creating the award-winning Beyond Basketball – a group of empowered women who meet monthly to discuss happenings in and around the area.
As a basketball player, Taylor was the 1997 Gatorade State Player of the Year for Mississippi after leading Meridian High School to a combined 67-7 record over her junior and senior seasons. She also won three state titles in track and field and was selected as the school's Homecoming Queen.
Playing basketball at the University of Alabama, Taylor was a significant contributor to four teams that reached post-season play -- the 1998 and 1999 NCAA Tournaments and the 2000 and 2001 WNITs. She was a two-year starter and scored 716 points, grabbed 555 rebounds and blocked 103 shots.
Taylor also was a standout off the basketball court. She was recognized as one of the most influential African Americans on the Alabama campus in 2001, was named to the SEC's Community Service team for women's basketball in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and was awarded a post-graduate scholarship from the SEC for her community service record. She received her bachelor's degree in education from Alabama in 2002.
Taylor and her husband, Darius Taylor, have one child, Jacie Elise.