Tim Taylor and Wendy Palmer Join Women's Basketball Coaching Staff
CHARLOTTESVILLE – Tim Taylor has been named associate head coach and Wendy Palmer has been named assistant coach, head women’s basketball coach Debbie Ryan announced Thursday. Taylor was an assistant for UVa from 2000-05 and most recently the head boys basketball coach at Madison County High School, while Palmer played for Ryan from 1992-96, is an 11-year WNBA veteran and spent the last two years as an assistant coach at Kentucky.
“I am very pleased and excited to have Tim Taylor and Wendy Palmer joining our family,” Ryan said. “Our players will really benefit from the unbelievable knowledge and passion they both bring to our program.”
Taylor returns to Virginia after spending four years in the high school ranks where his teams teams combined for a 83-23 record. He led Orange High School to its first-ever Virginia state tournament and a school-record 25 straight wins in 2006. Orange also captured a regular season district championship and two district tournament championships in his tenure.
Last season, he led Madison County High School to a school-record 28 straight wins and a district and regional championship as well as its first berth in the state tournament in 13 years. He was named District and Regional Coach of the Year twice in the past four years.
“I am excited to return to the University of Virginia,” Taylor said. “It is an opportunity to work with a great administration, staff and players to enhance the program on an everyday basis on and off the court. The last four years has been a fun ride. I would like to thank the Madison County players, staff, administrators and community for their unbelievable support. I will miss you all.”
Prior to his high school coaching responsibilities, Taylor completed five seasons on the UVa sidelines, helping the Cavaliers to four NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2004, he was promoted to recruiting coordinator and was the lead recruiter for the 2004 class that was rated 10th in the nation by Blue Star Index and 15th by the All-Star Girls’ Report.
“Tim Taylor is one of the best tacticians in the game of basketball,” Ryan said. “We are so fortunate to have someone of his expertise back in the program. His energy, drive and leadership will help us to take the next step toward the Final Four.”
Taylor joined the Virginia women’s basketball staff prior to the 2000-01 season after working two years at Furman. He was primarily responsible for the Paladin post players. He coached two All-Southern Conference post players, including two-time Southern Conference Player of the Year Jackie Smith. The Paladins finished second in the Southern Conference during the 1999-2000 regular season and won the conference tournament championship to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
A native of Madison, Va., Taylor was the head coach for girls basketball and softball at Woodbridge High School in Woodbridge, Va., from 1995-98. At Woodbridge, Taylor developed four post players who went on to receive Division I scholarships and led the Vikings to three consecutive regional appearances.
Taylor began his coaching career as the assistant boys’ and girls’ basketball coach at Madison County High School. He is a 1989 graduate of James Madison with a degree in political science.
Palmer spent two seasons at Kentucky as an assistant coach and prior to that spent two years as an assistant at VCU.
“I am very blessed and honored to have the opportunity to come back and work at Virginia,” Palmer said. “My time at Virginia molded me into the person I am today and I feel happy, grateful and thankful to have the opportunity to work at my alma mater and for Debbie Ryan.”
She was selected by the WNBA’s Utah Starzz in the second round of the 1997 Elite Draft and also spent time with the Detroit Shock, Orlando Miracle, Connecticut Sun, San Antonio Silver Stars and the Seattle Storm.
In 11 seasons, she averaged 10.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, including 6.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in five playoff games.
Palmer is a 1996 graduate of Virginia and was a two-time Kodak All-American in 1995 and 1996. She became the first women’s player in Virginia history to record more than 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds and still holds the all-time record for career rebounds (1,221).
Palmer was a three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team selection and was the third player in league history to receive two straight ACC Player of the Year nods.
“Wendy will bring a great deal of experience both on and off the court back to our program,” Ryan said. “Her Virginia pedigree will be invaluable to our players as she is a constant role model who truly understands what it takes to be successful at this level.”
A native of Roxboro, N.C., Palmer received her bachelor’s degree from UVa in history in 1996.