Joni Taylor, named the head coach at Texas A&M University on March 23, 2022, is serving as the head coach for the USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team that will compete at the 2022 FIBA U18 Americas Championship this summer.
This summer will mark Taylor's fourth occasion serving USA Basketball. Most recently she was a court coach for the 2022 USA National Team's spring minicamp in Minneapolis.
The former University of Georgia head coach served in her first international USA Basketball role as an assistant coach for the 2021 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup National Team and helped guide the USA to a 7-0 record and a gold medal at the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup in Debrecen, Hungary.
Taylor, who was at the helm of Georgia since the 2015-16 season, earned her first USA Basketball coaching assignment as a court coach for the 2018 USA U18 National Team trials.
Taylor in 2021-22 advanced her team to the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, a 21-10 record and the 2022 NCAA Tournament second round.
In 2020-21, Taylor coached her squad to a 21-7 overall record and advanced to the SEC Tournament finals and the 2021 NCAA Tournament second round. The team earned five wins against top-25 teams, including the first sweep of Tennessee since 1985 and a victory over No. 2 Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament semifinals, and entered the 2021 NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed, its highest since 2007.
In seven seasons at Georgia (through March 3, 2022), Taylor compiled a 139-74 (.653 winning percentage) record, posted seven winning seasons, including four seasons with 20-plus victories, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament three of the five years it was held, and will likely make it four of the past six years when the 2022 NCAA Tournament brackets are announced on March 13.
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.
Overall, Taylor owns 20 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.
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.
She has been heavily involved in the Athens, Georgia, 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 two daughters.