COPPIN: Kenny Taylor, Former Coppin Wrestling Coach and Asst. Student Activities Director, Has Passed Away

By Ruffin Bell

(BALTIMORE – August 18, 2017) – Former Coppin State head wrestling coach and assistant student activities director Kenneth Taylor passed away Sunday, August 13 and will be laid to rest Saturday, August 19.  Coach Taylor led the wrestling program from 1994 until it was discontinued in 2001.  Prior to his hire, Coppin had never sent an athlete to the NCAA Wrestling Championship. Coach Taylor sent seven Coppin athletes to the NCAA Wrestling Championships during those seven years.

Known for his energy and enthusiasm, Coach Taylor was invested in his athletes and Coppin State. In 1995, coach Taylor’s second year as head coach, he sent Coppin’s first NCAA Wrestling Tournament participant Clevans Robinson to compete in the national tournament.

Robinson commented, “without hesitation, KT, Coach Kenny Taylor is responsible for where I am in my life today. I learned many lessons from Kenny.  Finish what you start is one of them.”  Robinson added, “there was more than one occasion when I walked out of the room with all intentions of quitting the team and school. KT wasn’t having that.  He cared about me as a person and for that I am forever grateful.”

Coach Taylor began a trend with Clevans as each year he placed a wrestler in the NCAA Wrestling Championship.  Current Coppin State Hall of Famer Keno Brown and two time NCAA participant reflected on his coach and mentor.

“When I was an 18 year old kid, [Coach Kenny] took me in as his protégé. He welcomed me with a warm handshake and said, ‘We have some work to do.’ I had no clue what [he] meant. When I needed instructions [he was] there. When I needed someone to push me to my limits and then show me that, that was not my limit, [he was] there. When I needed someone to vent to, a shoulder to cry on; [He was ] there. When I didn’t have a suit to wear to an event, [Coach] never hesitated about letting me go in [his] closet and choose something. That didn’t stop after I became an adult, Keno stated.

“[Coach] implanted many little jewels along the way. Jewels that I’ve paid forward to some to others. Things that I have learned from the great KT:

  • KT, in competition he taught me it was ok, to allow your opponent to underestimate you, just don’t let them be right!
  • He taught me that not only women knew about style and fashion.
  • He taught me every man should own a suit.
  • He taught me to never cut corners in anything that you do. because it is a terrible behavior that will rear its head in other aspects of your life. Practice being great!”

Coach Taylor stayed in touch with many of his athletes well after they graduated and began growing professionally and personally.  Even after his coaching career at Coppin State, Coach Taylor worked at Loyola Blakefield and McDonogh School on their wrestling staffs.

Keno wanted to add, “KT, you will be missed! You’ve groomed and mentored hundreds of young men and women. Most of us are lucky to be able to influence, 5-10 in our lives. KT, did not do things for a camera or for public consumption, he did them out of love. I want to thank you [KT] for giving of yourself and to thank your family for sharing you with the world.”

NCAA Participants under Coach Taylor:
Clevans Robinson – (1995)
Keno Brown – (1996, 1997)
Kenny Hunter – (1997)
Sidney Billups – (1998)
Marty Kusick – (1999)
Cairo Moorman – (2000)
Sulieman Mumin – (2001)

The public viewing will be held at Wylie Funeral Home, Friday, August 18 from 5pm to 8pm.  The wake and funeral will begin at 9:30 on Saturday, August 19th. His final resting place will be King Memorial Park in Windsor Mill, MD.

Public Viewing
Wylie Funeral Home
9200 Liberty Rd
Randallstown Md 21133
Friday, August 18, 2017
From 5pm – 8pm

Funeral
Wake: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 930am
Service: Saturday,  August 19, 2017 @ 10am

Final Resting Place
King Memorial Park
Windsor Mill, MD 21244

 

Photo by Thomas Henderson: Coach Kenny Taylor standing, Keno Brown sitting.