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The HSSR Welcomes Energetic & Motivated CSU Head Softball Coach Venus Taylor As Keynote Spring All-State Banquet Speaker


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CSU Head Softball Coach Venus Taylor  

The HSSR Welcomes Energetic & Motivated CSU Head Softball Coach Venus Taylor As Keynote Spring All-State Banqet Speaker 

Columbia—Spring Sports all-state athletes gathered in the grand ball room at Seawells today (June 23rd) will hear from newly hired Charleston Southern University head softball coach Venus Taylor and her keynote address will be centered around what it takes to be a champion in all phases of your life. 

“I am excited about moving up to Division I softball and I intend to recruit players with expectations of being champions on the field, in the class room, and in their daily lives,” said Coach Taylor who was a three-sport high school athlete at Orion High near the Quaz City area in Illinois. She was all-state in the sports of basketball and softball where she was a gold glove shortstop.

“My message will stress how champions do extra work and greatness is a way of life,” she said. “I will recruit talented and devoted players to Charleston Southern who are also good students who give back to the community and I am all about stressing family values.”

Coach Taylor, who played professional softball for 7 seasons after graduating from Western Illinois College also said she will talk about being a good teammate and how important it is to be unselfish. “All college coaches are seeking athletes who are coachable, and team oriented with a great work ethic,” said Coach Taylor. “Your effort has to be in honor of the team and the result is focused on the team being successful and it can’t be about an individual having success that is not focused towards the team concept.

“Some players simply never realize that the team is more important and when you are selfish, and you make the game all about yourself, then it is difficult for the team to reach their true potential,” said Coach Taylor. “Throughout my coaching career we have built winning teams through hard work and everyone playing as team- oriented athletes.”

Coach Taylor has big goals at CSU and her first Buccaneer team made it to the post season in his first season and showed steady improvement as the season went along. “Our goals are to win the Big South Tournament, gain recognition and respect as a winning program in the region and on the national level and we hope to benefit by recruiting players from our own back yard. I am sincerely seeking to build our program with as many in-state players from South Carolina as possible.”

Coach Taylor said her own coaching career has been greatly influenced by three of her coaching role models. “I learned a lot about what it takes to be a successful coach by following and studying the coaching careers of Hall of Famer Pat Summit (Tennessee basketball), Hall of Famer Sue Enquist (long time UCLA softball coach) and former UCLA and Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden. “I have read a lot of books about these three coaches and they have had a huge influence on my coaching philosophy.”

After high school Coach Taylor started at shortstop for three seasons on her college team at Western Illinois. In 1998 she turned pro and enjoyed getting paid to play a sport she started playing in an elementary school league when she was just six years old. In the pro’s she was a center fielder and she used her speed to become a gold glove center fielder as well.

Charleston Southern Athletic Director Jeff Barber announced the hiring of Coach Taylor to CSU last October.  

Taylor comes to the Buccaneers with a wealth of coaching experience having served as the head coach at Judson University, as well as Bradley University and Lake City Community College.

"I am thrilled to be adding Venus Taylor to the Buccaneer family," Barber said upon her introduction to the CSU softball program. "Her extensive background as a player both collegiately and professionally, along with her experience as a head coach and knowledge and passion for the game, will allow our program to grow to the championship level, which we are all striving for."

Taylor spent four seasons as the head coach at Judson University amassing a 133-80-1 overall record with the Eagles. She posted successful campaigns in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference over her four years with an impressive mark of 64-28-1 in CCAC games. Each of her four seasons featured a berth to the NCCAA World Series and she added a pair of CCAC tournament appearances to her totals.

"I feel truly honored and blessed to be named the next Head Softball Coach at Charleston Southern University," Taylor said. "I am excited to join the Buccaneer family and I look forward to leading and impacting the lives of our impressive student-athletes."

She continued, "I would like to thank Jeff Barber for this incredible opportunity. He is a nationally respected athletic director with a track record of success and extraordinary vision. I am highly impressed with CSU as well as the degree of leadership offered with Dr. Costin and Jeff Barber at the helm. I have faith we have all the necessary ingredients to provide a championship culture on and off the field. Let's go Buccaneers!"

Her prior NCAA Division I coaching stops include serving as the head coach at Bradley University from 2003-05 and as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech in the early 2000s. She added an NJCAA National Championship in 2001 at the helm of Lake City Community College.

Taylor took a break from coaching to serve as a Fastpitch Business Manager for Wilson Sporting Goods where she orchestrated national sales, branding, sponsorships, endorsements, and affiliations for Wilson, DeMarini and Atec brands to increase brand development and sales. She served as a key public, media and client relations officer for fastpitch brands leveraging relationships with professional, collegiate and grassroots organizations, as well as associations and governing bodies.

Taylor was successful in planning and launching large-scale marketing and advertisement initiatives, as well as grassroots events and tournaments to highlight new product, brands, and technologies.   She was a key member of the innovation team and led the execution and launch of the first-ever A2000 and A2K Fastpitch pro stock gloves. Venus negotiated and closed more than 125 collegiate sponsorship agreements with leading teams, including Michigan, Missouri, and LSU and in addition signed multiple Olympic Athletes. 

In 2011, Taylor continued to follow her passion as a coach, motivational speaker, and educational leader, which resulted in the creation of her softball consulting company, Taylor Made Softball.  Partnering with the Bo Jackson Elite Sports Dome in Lockport, IL, Taylor Made Softball was able to cater to young female athletes with a dream by way of providing opportunity, development, knowledge, and encouragement.

Taylor starred in her playing career at Western Illinois University from 1993-1997. During her time with the Leathernecks, she was a two-time team MVP, and an All-Conference and All-Region selection. She finished her playing career as the school's record holder in numerous categories including hits, stolen bases, and runs scored. She was named the 1997 Western Illinois Female Athlete of the year, and in 2009 was inducted into the WIU Hall of Fame.

After graduating from college, Taylor was drafted by the now-defunct Women's Professional Softball League and went on to play for seven years with three All-Star Appearances and two World Championship rings for the 1999 Tampa Bay Firestix and the 2002 New York New Jersey Juggernauts.

Before coming to CSU Coach Taylor enjoyed four highly successful seasons at Judson University where her teams compiled a record of 130-80-1. 

Upon her departure to move up to Division I coaching at CSU Coach Taylor commented about her time in her prior job. "Judson University and our softball program has meant the world to me and will always have a special place in my heart.  Our program was built on love, family, faith, commitment, and hard work.  We have accomplished so many great things together and I am truly proud of every young woman who was a part of our winning culture," said Taylor. "I would like to personally thank Dr. Crume, Chad Gassman, and the rest of the staff who I was blessed to work with, and I wish Judson all the best and I will forever be thankful for my time here.  I know the Eagles will forever fly high!" 

   

During Taylor's tenure, the Eagles have won over 30 games in each season. In 2015, the Eagles won 31 games, which is tied for sixth-best record all-time. The Eagles finished with 34 wins in each of Taylor's final three seasons at Judson, which is tied for the second-best record in school history. 

 

"Coach Taylor has done an unbelievable job here at Judson as she has taken this program to new heights. We will miss her dearly, but we wish her the best for this wonderful opportunity at Charleston Southern," said Director of Athletics Chad Gassman.

The HSSR is delighted to introduce Coach Taylor to the softball community in South Carolina at our 33rd annual Spring Sports all-state banquet. Coach Taylor’s positive message should benefit all Spring Sports All-State athletes in attendance today. We are very excited about her sincere goal of evaluating in state players for softball opportunities at CSU. 

 

 











 


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