F. Jay Taylor

While leading Louisiana Tech University to unprecedented growth and success for 25 years as its president, Dr. F. Jay Taylor also made it a point to bring athletics along for the spectacular journey. Perhaps best known in many athletic circles for beginning the Lady Techsters basketball program in 1973 and then steadily and emphatically leading it to remarkable success, Dr. Taylor also made sure that all other athletic programs were given every opportunity to succeed -- and they did. Athletically, Taylor’s years will always draw a championship banner for such spectacular stories as Terry Bradshaw’s march to become the NFL’s No. 1 draft choice in 1970, coach Maxie Lambright’s reign that produced five national titles in 12 years, the Karl Malone basketball years that saw the Bulldogs earn national attention during the mid-1980s and, of course, Tech’s rise to the top (including a pair of national championships) in women’s basketball. Clearly, athletics were just one point of pride during Taylor’s 1962-1987 presidential career at Tech. His talents also helped enrollment grow from under 4,000 to over 11,000; he led the school to university status in 1970; directed a progression of academic achievements such as full accreditation for all of Tech’s programs and generally spearheaded the school’s move toward becoming a true “multiversity.”

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