Lance Taylor’s coaching experience runs deep.
He spent multiple years in the NFL with the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers. He’s also been a college coach for much of his career and is now preparing for his next step — offensive coordinator.
Taylor is one of three additions coach Scott Satterfield made to the Louisville coaching staff this offseason. His position was made possible after Stu Holtz left for Virginia Tech, but the offensive coordinator wasn’t a position Louisville had on its staff last season.
Satterfield, after Dwayne Ledford left for the Atlanta Falcons, took the role of offensive coordinator and head coach. He already calls plays and will continue to do so even with Taylor on board, but Taylor’s background will play a vital role in helping Louisville’s offense take the next step this season.
For Taylor, who was most recently the running backs coach and run game coordinator at Notre Dame, he looks at his position as a chance to enhance the offense and learn from Satterfield, who he described as “an elite play caller.”
“We’ll put the plan together and he’ll make the plays. I get to learn from an elite play caller and learn how he operates,” Taylor said. “I think there will be great back and forth.”
At Notre Dame, Taylor had a good job designing the run game’s offensive plan for a top-10 program in the country.
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It was going to take a great job, maybe the perfect one, for him to consider leaving the Irish. But when Satterfield, who he knew from his time at Appalachian State in 2009, called, he knew he had to listen.
Two days later he was on the phone with interim athletic director Josh Heird about the position and knew coming to Louisville was something he was intrigued about.
“I really wanted to do my homework and make sure this was the right job and that the pieces were in place, the support from administration was going to give us the opportunity to show we can win next year,” Taylor said. ” … I felt comfortable after talking to Josh that there was alignment there.”
The question regarding an offensive coordinator at Louisville, with Satterfield calling plays, is what will your role be? That was explained to Taylor in the interviewing process and he said it will be a lot of leading and organizing.
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Satterfield told him he wanted Taylor to lead, organize and communicate with the offensive staff. He’ll help devise game plans and be the leader of the offensive unit, freeing up Satterfield to deal with his head coaching duties more.
That was something that intrigued Taylor.
“For me it was an opportunity to lead a group, lead a staff, help him, but we are going to do it together,” Taylor said. “I think we have a dynamic offensive staff.”
As for what he can bring to the coaching staff, Taylor brings a wealth of knowledge. He’s coached every position on offense, had a hand in developing Heisman runner-ups Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love at Stanford and Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams.
His player development ability had a hand in Louisville’s interest.
But also he’s hoping to be able to enhance Louisville’s offense. Taylor doesn’t see becoming the offensive coordinator at Louisville as a reason to bring in wholesale changes. Louisville has been top 30 in total offense for each of the last three seasons.
He doesn’t want to reinvent the wheel. He believes he can help Louisville improve on its red-zone offense, which was No. 38 nationally in efficiency and third down offense, which was No. 66 nationally. Those are two areas Louisville can grow after dropping in both categories. The third down efficiency was Louisville’s worst under Satterfield.
“Some of those situational things we have to be better in scoring points and they’ve been good, but I’ve seen areas we can improve,” Taylor said. “Hopefully that’s what I can help with, is situational aspect and situational football, and then I will bring ideas from my previous spots.”
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There’s still some things to be figured out on the offensive staff. Louisville hasn’t announced what position Taylor will coach, the only opening is tight ends, but Satterfield could move the offensive staff around. If he does that, Taylor will have a position and juggle offensive coordinator duties.
Balancing that is something Taylor has prepared for in all of his stops, he said, with the ultimate goal becoming a head coach in the future.
For the time being, though, he’s taking his time getting acclimated to Louisville and has been meeting with his new players with spring football on the horizon.
Cameron Teague Robinson CTeagueRob@gannett.com; Twitter: @cj_teague;