Volleyball head coach excelling at Flagler for 13 years

By Jeffrey Howard | gargoyle@flagler.edu
Photo by Dyann Busse

When a fan attends a Flagler College Volleyball game there are two things that they always expect to see, the saints winning the game and head coach Taylor Mott quietly sitting in front of her two children carefully dissecting the match.

Mott is coaching her 13th season as the Volleyball head coach at Flagler College and is currently seeking to win the Peach Belt Conference Championship for the third year in a row.

Mott is the youngest active coach in Division II to reach 200 wins and she is maintaining a 644 win percentage throughout her young career. 

“I think a lot of it is just when you put your heart and soul into something, you’re going to be successful,” Mott said, “I just love Flagler College and I have poured my heart for it.”

Mott attended Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale and then attended the University of Mississippi where she graduated with a degree in elementary education.  While at the University of Mississippi, Mott lettered all four years for the Lady Rebels and earned Academic All-SEC honors in 1994 and 1995.  Mott also met her husband, Brian, while she was at college.  She and her husband are the parents of their 9-year-old daughter, Dylan, and their son, Merrick, who will be 4 years old in November.

“Dylan likes Volleyball and I think it’s just because she has been around it her whole life,” Mott said. “I mean, since she was about 2 1/2, she came with me to practice every day, traveled with us. I didn’t have daycare, so she was always with me.  Merrick just loves to be anywhere he can run around; they are just active kids.”

Mott said she strongly believes that education is one of the most important aspects of a student athlete.

“A college education is definitely more important than college volleyball,” Mott said.  “They would never fire me from Flagler, I don’t think, if I never won another match. I don’t think I would lose my job.  But if I had players that were not graduating and not doing well in school–I mean, and even for me personally, how many players are going to go on and play professionally, at this level? Not very many.  So I just feel like education always comes first.”

When coaching, Mott said she has a different approach.  She rarely speaks to her players while the match is being played; instead, she is a spectator like everyone else in the crowd.

“Normally during the matches, that’s not really, in my opinion, the time to start coaching them up, we do that in practice,” Mott said. “And I feel it’s comforting to them because they know I’m not just going to jump down their throats and chew them out in the heat of a moment of a match.”

Mott has shown that her coaching style translates well to her players performance.  In her 13 year career at Flagler College, her student-athletes have earned 24 all-conference honors, 23 all-region awards and four have earned All-America accolades.

Mott said she would only change one thing in regards to Flagler College volleyball.

“My hope would be that we could just get more fans, I think that once we get people here, they are fans,” Mott said.  “I would like for more people to just give it a shot. I think a lot of people look at volleyball as a girl’s sport, but, I guess I’m biased, but it’s just one of the few sports that the momentum swings so much and it’s just so action packed, just constant action, I don’t see how anybody wouldn’t be a fan of it. ”

This season, The Saints have a 12-4 record and the team is currently 4-0 in conference play.  Mott will lead her Flagler College Saints into Savannah, Ga. to play the undefeated Armstrong Atlantic team Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.

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