“After nearly 25 years at Taft High School, I have decided to seize the new opportunity at St. John Bosco to build a championship caliber program," Taylor said. "The Braves are sleeping giants hungry for a winning team. With a strong reputation throughout Southern California in academics and sports, the opportunity was too great to pass up.”
Prior to joining SJB, Taylor was a basketball coach at Taft High School from 1987 to 2011. From 2000 to 2011 as varsity head coach, he led the Toreadors to ten West Valley League Championships and six city section championship game appearances, winning the title in 2004, 2008 and this past season. Taylor accumulated an overall record of 252-49, including a 104-6 record in league play.
“It’s a privilege to welcome Coach Taylor and his family to St. John Bosco High School. Coach Taylor is a proven leader in Southern California high school basketball and brings a winning legacy to our students and school community,” said SJB President Paul Escala.
Taylor's success has been recognized both locally and nationally. He was named Coach of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and the Daily News, and was honored as the L.A. City Section Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2011. He was also selected to lead the west team in the 2007 McDonald’s All-American Game, where he coached current NBA players Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, James Harden, Kevin Love and Derrick Rose.
“Coach Taylor is an established winner and is a perfect fit for our community as the head basketball coach at St. John Bosco,” said SJB Principal Patrick Lee. “He has demonstrated a commitment to academics and athletics, developing numerous student athletes who have earned Division I scholarships, including 16 who will be playing this fall. We are confident that Coach Taylor will be successful in leading our program to local, state and national prominence.”
Among the players Taylor coached at Taft High School were Jordan Farmar, formerly of UCLA and the Los Angeles Lakers; Steve Smith, now a wide receiver with the New York Giants; Larry Drew II, a senior guard at UCLA; Bryce Jones, a sophomore guard at USC/UNLV; Gary Garrett Green at LSU; Justin Hawkins at UNLV and DeAndre Daniels, a freshman forward at Connecticut.
In addition to serving as the head basketball coach, Taylor partners with Primetime Sports and conducts quarterly sports camps for special needs children throughout Los Angeles. This after-school program is designed to help at-risk youth and disabled children realize their potential through athletics.
Derrick Taylor is a graduate of Taft High School and California State University, Northridge. He and his wife, Shonda, have two children: Chelcie is 18 and will be a sophomore at Princeton, and Langston is eight years old. Taylor and his family live in Los Angeles, California.
St. John Bosco High School is an all-boys Catholic preparatory community founded by the Salesians of Don Bosco in 1940. The school, located in Bellflower, California, accepts applicants from throughout Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties. It currently serves an enrollment of over 700 students and draws from more than 104 public and private feeder schools. SJB offers 12 varsity sports and competes in the Trinity League.