Education: B.S., turf grass management, University of Georgia
Professional background: Taylor has been the UA head women’s golf coach since 2007. She led the team to a historic season in 2017-18 that included a No. 1 national ranking in the fall, the program’s first SEC and NCAA Regional championships and a school record seven team titles. She’s a two-time Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year.
What inspired you to pursue your current career? I fell short of my dream to play golf on the LPGA Tour. I had some health issues including arthritis, and my body couldn’t take the grind that is required to play at the highest level. As I evaluated where I was in my life, I realized the best way for me to continue to be involved with the game of golf was to coach. I believe being a golf coach was what I was put on this Earth to do because it allows me to use golf as a vehicle to make a difference in people’s lives.
What’s one key leadership lesson that’s stuck with you during your career? I have this saying above my computer in my office: “You have to read your people to lead your people.” I find that to be a very important ingredient to being a leader. No two players are alike, and I challenge myself every day to treat my team and the support staff around me as individuals who have different needs and goals. I have to be able to understand those differences and still get everyone to pull together as a team for our common goals.
What’s the most important aspect of achieving a balance between your career and your family? I think the most important thing I can do to reach a balance between my career and my family is to keep my priorities in line. I know that my family comes first. When things are great at home, my work life will benefit from it. I work hard at planning ahead so that my family and my team get the best of me every day.
What achievement are you most proud of so far in your career? We have had a lot of success, especially this season. We continue to reach new heights and to develop amazing athletes. But to me, the best thing, the thing I am most proud of, is seeing our student-athletes walk across the stage and get their diploma. Watching them grow through golf is the most rewarding thing that I do.
What are three words you would use to describe yourself? Competitive. Hard-working. Connected.
What qualities do you feel are most important in a company leader? Self-awareness, integrity, passion and competitiveness. I believe these four traits are a great recipe for a cohesive team that will be driven to accomplish a common goal.
How do you spend your time away from work — if there is such a thing? I try and spend every hour I am away from work with my family. My husband, Adam, and I have a daughter, Grace. My parents also live in Northwest Arkansas, and they are all very important pieces to my success. Being able to spend time with them is something I really value.
What’s the first thing you do at the office each morning? When I get to the office, I write thank you notes. So many people touch and influence my life, my family and our team, and stopping to say thank you is an important acknowledgement of their contributions.
Of all the mentors in your professional career, who has been the most influential? Dr. Stan Beecham is the person who really stands out. Stan was part of my life as a student-athlete at the University of Georgia, and I continued to work with him throughout my professional career as a player. I have reached out to Stan in my role as a head coach, and he continues to help me grow as a person and as a professional.
I wish I knew how to … what? There are a lot of things, but I really wish I could speak another language. We are so fortunate to have a very diverse team with players from all over the world, and I think the ability to communicate with them in their own language would be a great experience for them, as well as for me.