Zac Taylor

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Zac Taylor
refer to caption
Taylor in 2019
Cincinnati Bengals
Position:Head coach
Personal information
Born: (1983-05-10) May 10, 1983 (age 37)
Norman, Oklahoma
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:Norman (Norman, Oklahoma)
Career history
As player:
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season:2–14 (.125)

Zac Taylor (born May 10, 1983) is an American football coach and former quarterback who is the head coach for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). From 2005 to 2006, he played college football and was the starting quarterback for Nebraska. After serving as the quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams in 2018, he was hired as the head coach for the Bengals.

College career[edit]

Early collegiate career[edit]

Despite Taylor's record-setting career at Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma, few colleges recruited him. Even his hometown school, the Oklahoma Sooners, passed him over. In 2002, he signed with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, where he redshirted his first year and filled in as a backup position the next, completing the only pass he attempted in those 2 years. From there he transferred to Butler Community College in Kansas, where he passed for nearly 3,000 yards with 29 touchdowns. In his breakout season, Taylor led Butler to the NJCAA championship game and earned second-team NJCAA All-American honors.


After his 2004 season Taylor looked at multiple NCAA Division I schools, including Memphis, Marshall and Nebraska. Nebraska had abandoned their long standing running/option offense for an entirely new, West Coast offense led by newly appointed coach Bill Callahan. The Huskers had a rebuilding season in 2004, going 5–6 and missing a bowl bid for the first time since 1968. His recruitment late in the 2004–05 off-season by the Huskers was described as a "lucky break" due to the Huskers' lack of quarterbacks at the time.

Taylor had a rough start, statistically speaking, in his 2005 year at Nebraska, completing 39 of 89 passes for 399 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions in his first three games. In his fourth game however, Taylor had a breakout day against Iowa State, throwing for a school record 431 yards on 36 of 55 passing with two touchdowns. The 36 completions was also a school record at the time.[1] He steadily improved throughout the season, ending in a 30–3 win against Colorado where he threw 392 yards,[2] and a come-from-behind 32–28 win against the Michigan Wolverines in the Alamo Bowl, where he threw a Nebraska bowl record 3 touchdown passes.[3] Taylor broke the school record for passing yards in a season with 2,653 yards on 55.1% of his passes being complete.

In his 2006 opener against Louisiana Tech, Taylor showed significant improvement over his season-opener the previous year, completing 22 of 33 attempts for 287 yards with 3 touchdowns and one interception.[4] The game after, against Nicholls State, Taylor once again showed his precision in passing the ball, finishing 19 of 23 for 202 yards and a new career-best in 4 touchdown passes.[5]

Taylor led the Nebraska Cornhuskers to a record of 9–3 with an appearance in the 2006 Big 12 Championship Game, facing off against the Oklahoma Sooners. Taylor passed for 2,789 yards and 24 touchdown passes during the regular season and earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.


NCAA Collegiate Career statistics
Season Games Games
Record Passing Rushing
Comp Att Yards Pct. TD Int QB Rating Att Yards Avg TD
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Redshirt Redshirted
2003 3 0 1–2 1 1 3 100.0 0 0 125.2 3 9 3.0 0
Butler CC Grizzlies
2004 12 12 11–1 193 303 2,951 63.7 28 0 126.5 0 0 0 0
Nebraska Cornhuskers
2005 12 12 8–4 237 430 2,653 55.1 19 12 115.9 76 -41 -0.5 1
2006 14 14 9–5 233 391 3,197 59.6 26 8 146.1 60 -32 -0.5 1
NCAA Career Totals 29 26 18–11 470 821 5,850 57.2 45 20 130.3 139 -64 -0.46 2

Professional career[edit]

Taylor went undrafted in the 2007 NFL Draft. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but was cut in the preseason.[6] Taylor then went to Canada and joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as their 4th string quarterback for a single season in the CFL, but did not play in a game and did not return for the 2008 season, instead beginning his transition into coaching. The Blue Bombers played in the 95th Grey Cup (the CFL Championship game) on November 25, 2007 but did not win.

Coaching career[edit]

Miami Dolphins[edit]

On January 30, 2012, Taylor was named assistant quarterbacks coach for the NFL's Miami Dolphins. He was previously an assistant coach at Texas A&M, serving under former head coach Mike Sherman, his father-in-law.[7][8] On November 30, 2015, he was promoted to the team's interim offensive coordinator, after the firing of the previous offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor. During the five games Taylor served as OC, the Dolphins went 2-3 and averaged 17 points per game,[9] a slight regress from their per-game average under Lazor, though Interim Coach Dan Campbell still had positive things to say of Taylor's performance.[10]

University of Cincinnati[edit]

In January 2016, Taylor was hired by University of Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Tommy Tuberville to be the Bearcats' offensive coordinator. According to Taylor, Jim Turner, who had been an offensive line coach for the Dolphins, was the one who connected him with Tuberville.[11] Taylor was seen as a "rising star in the coaching ranks" by the Bearcats, thanks to his experience in the NFL and his job developing Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Under Taylor's mentoring Tannehill became only the second Miami QB with multiple 3,000-yard seasons, as well as totaling the third-most passing yards for a QB in his first four seasons in NFL history, with 15,460.[12]

Los Angeles Rams[edit]

In 2017, Taylor was hired by the Los Angeles Rams as assistant wide receivers coach. In 2018, he was promoted to quarterbacks coach.[6]

Cincinnati Bengals[edit]

On February 4, 2019, Taylor was hired as head coach by the Cincinnati Bengals.[13] Taylor lost in his coaching debut to the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 21-20. Taylor and the Bengals would go on to lose their next ten games, posting an 0-11 record, the worst start to a season in franchise history.[14] Starting quarterback Andy Dalton was benched ahead of a week ten matchup against the Baltimore Ravens on November 10, 2019.[15] Rookie Ryan Finley would start the next three weeks, but after being ineffective, Dalton was renamed the starter before the week 13 game against the New York Jets.

With Dalton back under center, Taylor recorded his first win as the Bengals coach in the aforementioned Week 13, beating the Jets 22-6, in turn also snapping a franchise-record thirteen-game losing streak dating back to the previous season.[16] The following week, the Bengals lost to the Cleveland Browns in Taylor's first head-to-head matchup against the division rivals by a score of 27-19.[17] After a Week 16, 38-35 loss to the Miami Dolphins in overtime, the 1-14 Bengals secured the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.[18] Taylor and the Bengals managed to finish the season 2-14 following a 33-23 win over the Browns in Week 17, matching a franchise-worst record set previously in 2002.[19]

Head coaching record[edit]

Team Regular season Postseason
Year Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CIN 2019 2 14 0 .125 4th in AFC North
Total 2 14 0 .125 0 0 .000

Personal life[edit]

Taylor is married to Sarah Sherman, daughter of former Green Bay Packers' head coach Mike Sherman,[6] and they have four children together.

His sister, Kathryn, is a Special Olympics swimmer. His youngest sister Quincy resides in Oklahoma City.[20] Taylor's younger brother, Press Taylor, was a quarterback for Marshall University and is currently the quarterback coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. Taylor's father, Sherwood, was a defensive back and captain for Oklahoma and head coach Barry Switzer from 1976–1979.


  1. ^ "Taylor Sets Passing Records in Double-OT Win". ESPN. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  2. ^ "Taylor Tosses 2 TDs as Huskers Dominate Buffs". ESPN. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  3. ^ "Nebraska Erases 11-Point Deficit to Win Alamo Bowl". ESPN. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  4. ^ "Nebraska Amasses 584 Yards of Offense in Rout". ESPN. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  5. ^ "Taylor (4 TDs), No. 21 Nebraska Sharp on Eve of USC Showdown". ESPN. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Benoit, Andy (December 6, 2018). "The Brothers Taylor Are Coaching's Next Big Thing". Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  7. ^ "Now with Texas A&M, former Husker Taylor still roots for NU".
  8. ^ "5 things you need to know about Zac Taylor, Dolphins' new O-coordinator". Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  9. ^ Sipple, Steven M. "Zac Taylor's Rise in Coaching Worth Watching". Lincoln Journal Star. The Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  10. ^ "Miami Dolphins Coordinators Didn't Improve Units". Miami Herald. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  11. ^ Sipple, Steven M. "Zac Taylor's Rise in Coaching Worth Watching". Lincoln Journal Star. The Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  12. ^ "Zac Taylor Bio". University of Cincinnati Official Athletic Site. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  13. ^ "Zac Taylor Named 10th Bengals Head Coach".
  14. ^ Fay, John. "At 0-11, Cincinnati Bengals off to worst start in franchise history". USA Today.
  15. ^ Breech, John. "Andy Dalton calls out Bengals over timing of benching, was hoping to get traded before deadline". CBS Sports.
  16. ^ Baby, Ben. "Bengals avoid 0-12 start, beat Jets in Andy Dalton's return as starter". ESPN.
  17. ^ Dragon, Tyler. "What we learned: Cincinnati Bengals drop to 1-12 after loss to Cleveland Browns". The Cincinnati Enquirer.
  18. ^ Alper, Josh. "Zac Taylor: Thoughts on No. 1 pick are for the offseason". ProFootballTalk. NBC Sports.
  19. ^ Dragon, Tyler. "Cincinnati Bengals defeat Cleveland Browns in season finale".
  20. ^ Christopherson, Brian. "Raising a Husker, 9/3: Zac Taylor". Lincoln Journal Star. The Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved September 16, 2016.

External links[edit]