Tim Taylor, who coached Yale for three decades and Team USA in multiple tournaments, died Saturday at 71 years old, according to multiple media reports. Taylor, born March 26, 1942, was battling cancer, according to the reports.
His legacy at Yale, where he coached from 1976-2006, includes the most wins (337) of any head coach in the program’s history, an ECAC regular season title in 1997-98, the Spencer Penrose trophy as coach of the year that season, and many future Olympians, NHL players and coaches. He compiled a 337-433-55 record, and his 825 games behind the Yale bench is the most of any coach in ECAC history.
Taylor (Natick, Mass.) was named the ECAC coach of the year three times (1987, ’92 and ’98), and the New England Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1998.
On the international stage, Taylor coached Team USA at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, was an assistant with the 1984 squad, and coached the team at four IIHF World Championships in the 1990s. He had been working as the director of player personnel, compiling the invitees to the Team USA camp ahead of the 2014 World Junior Championship. In 1991, Taylor took over for the ailing Bob Johnson and led Team USA to a second-place finish in the Canada Cup, its best placement ever in that tournament.
Taylor actually began his coaching career at Harvard, where he was an assistant for seven years after captaining the Crimson as a senior in 1963 – a year when Harvard won the Ivy League and ECAC titles. In 68 games as a player, Taylor scored 46 goals and 33 assists. Taylor also made the U.S. National Team as a player in 1965 and 1967.
Taylor’s death comes two weeks to the day after Yale won its first national championship. It also comes a month after the retirement of BU coach Jack Parker, who mentioned Taylor several times during his March 11 retirement announcement.
“I always tell people, I have a real good record, but if you took Tim Taylor at Yale and put him here, and put me at Yale, he’d have a lot better record than me,” Parker said.
Taylor is survived by his wife, Diana Cooke.
Photo credit: Dave Arnold Photography