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Stanford hires Troy Taylor as next head coach

The Cardinal have tabbed the successful Sacramento State head coach to replace David Shaw in Palo Alto, CA.

NCAA Football: Sacramento State at California Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford didn’t have to look far to fill its coaching vacancy.

The school has hired Sacramento State’s Troy Taylor to become its next head football coaching, making the move just two weeks after longtime head coach David Shaw stepped down. Taylor himself confirmed the news to Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee on Saturday, just mere hours after the Hornets fell to Incarnate Word in a wild 66-63 affair in the FCS quarterfinals.

An alum of rival Cal, Taylor spent over a decade as a high school coach in the Sacramento area before returning to college football as an offensive assistant at Eastern Washington in 2016. After a two-year stint as the offensive coordinator at Utah, he returned home to take the head coaching position at Sacramento State in 2019.

He quickly turned around the struggling program during his run, leading the Hornets to at least a share of three Big Sky Conference championships and subsequently three trips to the FCS playoffs. This year’s team ranked fourth in scoring offense in FCS, averaging 41.2 points per game. Running back Cameron Skattebo led the way with 1,372 rushing yards and seven touchdowns throughout the year.

For Stanford, it went with a tried and true NorCal guy to try to help get the program back to contending for the Pac-12 after experiencing a handful of mediocre seasons in the final years under Shaw. Given the school’s stringent academic restrictions when it comes to recruiting, it will be interesting to see how Taylor approaches this aspect as he assembles his staff in Palo Alto, CA.