A Matter of Loyalty- Why ETSU Should Hire Billy Taylor as Head Football Coach Posthaste!

Marky Billson
5 min readDec 22, 2021

In 2020 ETSU hesitated to promote the obvious successor to coach their basketball team and suffered accordingly. They’re doing the same thing now with the football program and it simply isn’t a good look.

Marky Billson

East Tennessee State athletic director Scott Carter reminds me of a middle-aged man who just received a promotion.

He’s got a good wife at home, but now, all of the sudden, with his newly found wealth and power he’s receiving some attention from other potential female suitors.

His young secretary is seemingly giving him signals. Prestigious female clients that previously never would have looked at him are dropping hints. Even his high school sweetheart wants to reconnect.

So he’s tempted.

He shouldn’t be, though.

This situation mirrors the East Tennessee State football coaching search. Billy Taylor is, in effect, “the wife at home.”

He’s stood by ETSU football for more than 30 years. He not only was the defensive star in one of the Buccaneers’ biggest victories ever, a 29–14 victory at N.C. State in 1987 that marked the first time ETSU ever beat a Division I-A (now FBS) opponent, but has been the longtime defensive coordinator of the program dating back to the Paul Hamilton days.

Last season ETSU finished second in the Southern Conference in scoring defense, third in total defense, and led the conference in interceptions under defensive coordinator Billy Taylor.

Taylor didn’t have to come back to ETSU to help re-start the program. He was a defensive coordinator at Tennessee Tech already. Returning to an upstart program might have even been a step down in his career at the time.

But he did it out of a sense of loyalty. He even was an active member of the Buccaneers Football Foundation and Friends, an organization formed to retore the ETSU football program during the 12 years the university did not have a program.

If loyalty means anything to ETSU, then Billy Taylor is the next ETSU head football coach.

If the recent success the ETSU football program has had, two conference championships in four seasons after not winning any in 37 seasons…

Marky Billson

Innovative sports media personality.