Skip to main content

Aggies Hire Duke Assistant Trooper Taylor As RB Coach

New Texas A&M Aggies head coach Mike Elko is bringing his former Duke Blue Devils assistant, Trooper Taylor onto his staff in College Station

The Texas A&M Aggies coaching staff is becoming more and more complete by the day. 

Following his success in guiding Duke to a 17-10 win in the Birmingham Bowl vs. the Troy Trojans, Blue Devils interim head coach and running back Trooper Taylor will head to College Station to join Mike Elko's new staff in Aggieland as the team's associate head coach and running backs coach, the school announced.

Taylor replaced Elko in the lead role at Duke following his acceptance of the head coaching job with Texas A&M at the end of November. 

Trooper Taylor

He now joins recent hires Collin Klien (offensive coordinator), Jay Batemen (defensive coordinator), Sean Spencer (defensive line), Adam Cushing (offensive line), Tommy Moffitt (strength and conditioning) and Ishmail Aristide (cornerbacks).

Taylor, however, might be the most interesting story.

The 53-year-old Cuero, Texas native had been with the Blue Devils since 2019, starting his tenure as the team's wide receiver coach, before being named the associate head coach and cornerbacks coach in 2021. He then spent two years under Elko as the associate head coach and running backs coach in 2022 and 2023.

Under Taylor, the Blue Devils ranked 55th in the country in rushing in 2023, averaging just over 168 yards per game on the ground. They also ranked 35th in rushing touchdowns with 25.

While an accomplished coach in his own right, Taylor also at one point had a history of impressive recruiting chops, helping past teams to land top recruits such as five-star safety Eric Berry (Tennessee 2007), five-star Trovon Reed (Auburn 2010), four-star receiver Sammie Coates (Auburn 2011).

He has also coached and helped develop players like Dez Bryant, Robert Meachum Cedric Houston, Gerald Riggs Jr., and Roydell Williams to the NFL.

However, that was some time ago. After an NCAA investigation during his time at Auburn in 2012, Taylor was removed from the recruiting trail by the Tigers, and promptly let go at the end of the regular season. 

Taylor never faced any disciplinary action from the NCAA, however, and eventually landed on his feet in 2014, coaching for five seasons at Arkansas State, before moving to Duke in 2019.

Blue Devils 2024 signee Chase Tyler is the only four-star or better recruit signed by Duke that Taylor was been the primary recruiter on in his four seasons in Durham.