Taylor comes out of retirement to guide Warrior hoops again

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Dwight Taylor hinted of a desire to return to coaching.

With the resignation of Wayne Hardy, Hunt High needed a basketball coach.

Thus, Taylor, with nearly 30 years of high school coaching experience, will return to the sidelines in 2018-19 as, once again, the head boys basketball coach at Hunt High of the 3-A Big East Conference.

Taylor functioned as the Warriors’ fifth head coach from 1992 until retiring after the 2015-16 season. He’s back after being away for two years.

“They (Hunt administrators) did some convincing,” Taylor commented with a chuckle. “They needed a coach; I love the program and want to see the program be good. They didn’t have a teaching position and I didn’t need a teaching position. I guess I became a candidate.”

Taylor reported he has already begun working and hopes to enter his team in a couple of jamborees during the summer.

“I know one or two kids in the program,” he remarked, “and I will be learning the rest of the kids over the summer.”

Taylor has tabbed Rodney Creech, Andrew Alphin and Marcus Johnson as assistant coaches.

The 57-year-old Taylor is a graduate of Hunt High, where he starred in basketball and football. He continued his football career at Elizabeth City State University. Taylor played in the United States Football League for a couple of years and was briefly associated with the Denver Broncos of the National Football League.

He is married to the former Tracey Dickerson.

From 1992 through 2015, Hunt varsity boys teams, under Taylor’s direction, won 12 conference championships, nine Wilson Christmas tourney titles and qualified for five North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A East Regionals.

The Warriors reached the regional finals in 2014 and 2015, playing for the 3-A state championship in 2014.

“I’m excited,” expressed Hunt athletic director Jon Smith. “I know he retired, but he wanted to get back into coaching. If he was going to coach again, we wanted Hunt to be his first choice. If we weren’t going to get him, somebody else was.

“It’s good. We’re fortunate to have somebody like him that’s been around. He has so much experience and is well thought of in the community. There are a lot of positives he’s going to bring to the program.”

Taylor will continue to teach driver’s education and, again with a chuckle, suggests his decision is endorsed by his wife.

“Actually, she’s surprisingly satisfied,” he remarked. “She wanted me to do more because she’s still working.”

Taylor inherits a program that has struggled since his departure with a 13-34 record and notes his main priority is to implement his system. In the past, the signature of Taylor teams has been defense first and a balanced offense. He expects to win.

“I expect us to get back into the hunt for the conference championship and get back to the playoffs,” he said.

Taylor doesn’t see energy being a problem, quipping: “I have been saving it up.”