SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – With the last name Gait, lacrosse is in Taylor’s blood. When your father Gary is one of the best lacrosse players of all-time, its hard for it not to be.
Taylor played six years at Syracuse suffering six knee injuries from her senior year at CBA in 2013 to her redshirt junior year in 2017. She would still register 99 points in her Orange career, but after graduation, Taylor decided to move to San Diego to get away from lacrosse.
“I was like ‘alright I’m gonna go out west, start fresh,” said Taylor.
Taylor initially worked in commercial real estate before starting to work for lacrosse company Adrenaline as an Events and Apparel Sales Representative while also starting to coach in youth camps teaching the game. It was in those camps that Taylor rediscovered her love for the sport and a desire to coach. So she called one of the teachers of the game she knew the best, her dad.
“He was dying laughing,” said Taylor.
“Well it did make me laugh, because she swore, she didn’t want to be a coach, didn’t want to get into coaching,” said Gary, head coach of the Syracuse women’s lacrosse team.
“Coaching next level like division one lacrosse, yeah I always was like “no I don’t see myself doing that” and now look at me,” Taylor laughed.
Taylor was hired as a part-time assistant coach at San Diego State in August of 2019. Even though the season ended after just five games, she learned a lot.
“Honestly this whole year has been so amazing I am so fortunate to work with (head coach) Kylie white and (associate head coach) Brandi Padilla. I couldn’t have gotten better role models,” said Taylor. “And yeah I am very devastated that our season was cut short but I’m excited for this coming season.”
She did so well, that Taylor was promoted to a full-time assistant in early March.
“I just love working with the kids, individual skill development. Just building those relationships and having such a great impact on kids lives not just in lacrosse but in everything. Watching them graduate and go on and start their lives. I think having that this year was just so rewarding,” said Taylor.
Taylor of course grew up learning the game from her dad, but he’s happy she can get someone else’s perspective.
“It makes her really think about why people do things and why coaches make certain decisions and how they run their teams. She’ll learn from that and she’ll start to develop her own ideas about it,” said Gary
But there’s no doubt she will have her dad’s ear for any questions.
“I’ll give her any advice that she asks for and any advice that she doesn’t ask for,” Gary laughed.
“I’ll definitely call him at times whenever I have questions or even just how to coach something or how to get a kid understand a certain concept. He’s been in the biz for a while,” said Taylor.
Taylor’s passion for the sport is completely reignited and she want’s to pursue this career as long as she can and as far as she can.
“The game has just given me so much opportunity and that time away just made me realize ‘wow I really want to do this’,” said Taylor. “My end goal is hopefully to be a head coach of a program and I guess we’ll see what happens.”
Taylor hasn’t completely hung up her cleats though, she wants to play for Team Canada in the World Cup which will be held in Towson, Maryland in 2021 as well as the Lacrosse World Games set for Birminham, Alabama in 2022.
For now, she hopes to be a part of the first Azetcs team to make the NCAA tournament.