(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – BYU head track and field and cross country coach Ed Eyestone has announced the promotion of Diljeet Taylor to the position of associate head cross country coach-women and assistant track and field coach.
“Coach Taylor has done a phenomenal job since day one,” Eyestone said. “She makes a positive impact wherever she goes. The fact that our women’s cross country team finished 10th at nationals last year is an indication of her talents. Diljeet really cares for our student-athletes. She goes to great lengths to establish strong relationships with each and every member of the team. Our women’s cross country and distance squads are fortunate to have her. I consider her one of the top coaches in the country.”
Taylor joined the Cougar coaching staff as an assistant cross country and track and field coach in August 2016. During the 2016 cross country season, Taylor coached the BYU women to 10th place at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana, the program’s best finish since 2005. Taylor also coached Erica Birk-Jarvis to All-America honors, BYU’s first All-American in women’s cross country since 2011.
On the track, Taylor helped the Cougars earn seven All-America honors in distance and middle distance events. At the indoor championships, Taylor coached the distance medley relay squad of Birk-Jarvis, Brenna Porter, Kristi Rush-Briggs and Ashleigh Warner to a fourth-place finish while Shea Collinsworth took third in the 800 meters. All five were named first-team All-Americans.
At the outdoor championships, Collinsworth repeated as a first-team All-American in the 800 meters with a fourth-place finish while Rush-Briggs claimed second-team honors in the steeplechase.
Prior to coming to BYU, Taylor coached at Cal State Stanislaus from 2007 to 2016. She was originally hired as the head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country programs and also served as the distance coach for men’s and women’s track. In June of 2013, she was named director of track and field and cross country.
During her time at Cal State Stanislaus, Taylor guided All-American Courtney Anderson to an NCAA Division II championship in the 1,500-meter run in 2014. From 2013 to 2016, the distance and cross country programs accumulated 16 All-America honors, including consecutive runner-up finishes in the indoor championships by the distance medley relay team.
Taylor also coached men's middle-distance runner Abraham Alvarado and women's javelin thrower Channing Wilson, who qualified for and competed in the 2016 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. Alvarado, who transferred to BYU in 2016, competed in the men's 800-meter race and made it to the semifinals, and Wilson finished 19th of in the opening round of the women's javelin throw.
From 2004-2006, Taylor trained with Nike’s Farm Elite Team, an Olympic development program that makes its home at Stanford University. She also served as an assistant coach to Keith Spataro at Menlo College before taking over as head coach in 2005.
Taylor attended Cal State Stanislaus as a student-athlete from 1999 to 2002. She was a three-time All-American in indoor and outdoor track and field as a specialist in the 800-meter and 1,500-meter runs. She set the school indoor record in the 800-meter in 2002. That same year she finished second at the NCAA National Championship meet and finished her career second on the outdoor track all-time list in both the 800- and 1,500-meter events.
In 2002 Taylor was named Cal State Stanislaus Female Athlete of the Year and Scholar Athlete of the Year. She was also the most dominant runner for the Warriors during that time, earning Most Valuable Runner from 2000 to 2002. She also served as a team captain for the Warriors for two years.
Taylor graduated cum laude from Cal State Stanislaus in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. She is married to former Cal State Stanislaus basketball player Ira Taylor and they have two children, Taj and Avi.