Lori Taylor is in her 15th year as Director of Track & Field and Cross Country at the University of Richmond. During her tenure the Spiders have rewritten the record books.
Along with the records, Taylor has mentored 40 conference event champions, 169 all-conference performers, and two All-America honorees. Taylor was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year in both cross country and track and field in 2003-04 after her women's cross country and indoor teams captured the league championships.
The 2007-08 season was witness to much improvement within the program. The men's and women's cross country teams finished in the runner-up position at the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships, the highest ever finish for the men's program at the time.
At the NCAA Southeast Region Championships in cross country the women improved to eighth place with only one senior on the team. During the indoor and outdoor track & field season's the Spiders continued to improve. The women's 4x800M relay locked down the league title at the indoor championships and freshman, Nicol Traynor qualified for the NCAA Regional Championships when she ran 16:42.96 at the Atlantic 10 Championships.
Sophomore, Andrew Benford also qualified for the NCAA Regional Championships outdoors in the 5,000M (14:09.01) at the Mt. SAC Relays in Los Angeles and in the 3K steeplechase (8:59.11) at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
In addition to Benford and Traynor, the Spiders Jon Molz ran 9:04.76 in the 3K steeplechase and freshman, Monica Howard won the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships in the javelin to qualify for the NCAA Regional Championships. During the 2006-07 year Taylor led the Spiders to an undefeated regular cross country season during. At the Atlantic 10 Championships her teams finished in the Runner-up position during the cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field seasons. Jessica Young earned NCAA All-America honors during the indoor and outdoor seasons in the 60M and 400M respectively and 3 athletes qualified for the NCAA East Region Championships in 4 events.
Additionally her athletes swept "Rookie of the Year" honors within the league during the cross country, indoor and outdoor season and Beth Crocus brought home the "Outstanding Field Events Performer" outdoors. Her Spider athletes were also named Atlantic 10 Conference Performers of the Week on 20 occasions during the cross country, indoor and outdoor seasons.
In the 2005-06 year, five Spider athletes qualified for the NCAA Region Championships in seven events. Taylor's athletes placed second at the Atlantic 10 Conference Outdoor Championships and third in the Cross Country Championships, while winning five individual league titles, earning 26 all-conference honors and establishing 14 program records. Richmond athletes were crowned the Atlantic 10 Outstanding Field Performer at the outdoor championships and the Outstanding Rookie Performer at the indoor championships. Her Spider athletes were also named Atlantic 10 Conference Performer of the Week on 17 occasions during the cross country, indoor and outdoor seasons.
"The University of Richmond is an excellent school. With all the resources available our student-athletes have opportunities to challenge themselves in what we see as a perfect balance between competitive NCAA D-I athletics and the rigors of highly ranked academic programs," said Taylor.
"The student to faculty ratio, supports services, facilities, location, academic prestige, and our beautiful campus make Richmond one of the best environments in the nation for success as a student-athlete."
In the 2004-05 year, her athletes placed second at the Atlantic 10 Conference Indoor Championships and Cross Country Championships while winning eight individual titles and 23 all-conference honorees within the three seasons. During the same year the Spiders established nine program records and in the 2003-04 seasons alone, the women's team set 13 program records, earned 29 all-conference honors and crowned four conference champions.
In addition to the team's success, then sophomore Lindsey Smith qualified for the 2005 NCAA Championships in the javelin throw, while Amanda Russell met the NCAA mark in the 10,000 meters. In 2003, the Spiders sent an individual athlete, Ruth Chege, to the NCAA Championships in the 1,500. Spanning her eighteen-year career Taylor has coached 6 All-Americans, 81 conference champions and 315 all-conference performers.
Additionally, NCAA All-Academic Team honors were awarded to the men's and women's cross country and track and field teams in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 for their efforts in the classroom.
Taylor and her husband Steve joined the track and field program in 2001 after a brilliant tenure as head coaches at Virginia Tech where she guided Kristin Price to All-America honors for indoor (3,000-9:18.77) and outdoor (5,000-15:56.68) track & field.
Throughout Taylor's 10 years as head coach at Virginia Tech, her teams claimed Atlantic 10 Outdoor Championship titles in 1997 and 1998 and Atlantic 10 Indoor Championship titles in 1997 and 1999. Taylor garnered two conference Coach of the Year honors in the span after the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Taylor, who understands dedication and toughness are essential to excelling, earned All-America honors in cross country and track & field while at Virginia Tech. She set personal bests during her racing career of 9:36.33 in the 3,000, 16:48.21 in the 5,000 and 35:29.71 in the 10,000. In June of 2000, Taylor was voted into the Virginia Tech Hall of Fame. She became just the second member from the women's cross country team to be bestowed with the honor.
She was also only the third member to be inducted while actively serving the University, joining her husband Steve and current Tech football coach Frank Beamer as the other two individuals. Taylor graduated from Virginia Tech in 1985 with a bachelor of science degree in technology education.
In 1988, she earned a master's degree from Tech in vocational and technical education. Taylor then began working on a doctorate in 1991 in vocational and technical education while coaching the women's cross country team.
She is married to men's coach Steve Taylor and they have a son, Luke.