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Medalist: Gary W. Taylor

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Gary W. Taylor, MA ’82

Citation and Sesquicentennial Medal presented on Nov. 20, 2014

Since 1978, the Rider University wrestling program has earned national respect and recognition, thanks in large part to the hard work and dedication of Head Coach Gary Taylor. After 36 years, Gary has compiled 404 victories, the second highest total in the NCAA among active Division I coaches.

When Gary came to Rider to succeed the wrestling program’s founder Barry Burtnett, he set forth a goal of bringing eastern and national recognition to wrestling on the Rider campus. With a 404-229-4 dual meet record at Rider against the highest level of competition, Gary has certainly met that goal.

Gary was named East Coast Wrestling Association Coach of the Year seven times, has turned out 96 conference champions, including four at the 2008 Colonial Athletic Association Championships, and has taken 157 Broncs to the NCAA Championships. In 2010 the University presented Gary with the Frank N. Elliott Award for dedicated service to Rider.

Under Gary’s leadership, Rider’s wrestling team has won conference championships 13 times since 1984, and finished runner-up in the CAA three times in the last nine years in the conference. To date 13 of Taylor’s wrestlers have earned All-America honors, including two in the last eight years.

The pinnacle of his career came in 1997, when the Broncs cracked the top ten in the national poll and were ranked seventh in the nation over the final five weeks of the season by the Amateur Wrestling News.

Gary guided Rider into a new league, the Eastern Wrestling League, for the 2013-14 season and finished 4-2 in the league with three individual champions and five more NCAA Qualifiers.

In addition to his athletic achievements, Gary is also a proud Rider alumnus, having earned a master’s degree in school administration and supervision in 1982. For more than 30 years, Gary has spent his summers working in Rider’s Facilities department, where he is known as a skilled project manager with a critical eye for aesthetics. His knowledge of construction and renovation has made Gary a valuable contributor to the successful completion of many summer projects on campus. 

For all of his achievements, leadership, success, and most importantly for the honor he has brought to Rider Athletics and the University community, we are honored to present Gary Taylor with the Rider University Sesquicentennial Medal of Excellence.

-Debora Stasolla, Associate Vice President, Planning