Blaine Taylor, the winningest basketball coach in Old Dominion history, returned to the University after a nine-year absence on June 10, 2022 as an athletic development officer for the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation.
Blaine’s primary focus is on raising money for capital projects, such as the renovation of ODU's baseball stadium, but is also tasked with finding resources to fund scholarships and program enhancement in all sports.
ODAF is among the most successful fundraising organizations in the Group of 5. But given the challenges the University faces with Name Image and Likeness and the ongoing round of conference realignment, ODAF must be even more successful in the coming years, said Dr. Wood Selig, ODU’s director of athletics.
“This is a critical time, and we need the best team we can possibly assemble to propel ODU athletics forward,” he said. “Blaine Taylor makes us better.”
Blaine was one of the most high-profile sports personalities in Hampton Roads during his 12 years at ODU, when he won 239 games and took the Monarchs to four NCAA Tournaments and the semifinals of the NIT.
His teams won, but Blaine was also a media favorite because of his frank answers to questions and his ready sense of humor.
ODAF Executive Director Jena Virga said Blaine proved himself to be a skilled fundraiser as a coach at ODU, where he raised most of the $8.4 million needed to build the Mitchum Basketball Performance Center and helped endow 13 men's basketball scholarships.
“Blaine has all the qualities that you look for in a fundraiser,” Virga said.
Taylor is a Butte Montana native who was raised in a blue-collar home and that’s how his basketball teams played – with blue-collar toughness. He and his six siblings were raised in Missoula, home of the University of Montana, and was named MVP of the Montana state tournament his senior year even though his Hellgate High team finished fourth.
Taylor then played at Montana for four seasons as a point guard. He was named the school’s outstanding male athlete and most inspirational player as a senior.
After 10 years as a graduate and then assistant coach at Montana, he was named the Grizzlies’ head coach in 1991. He was 141-66 and took the Grizzlies to two NCAA tournaments and one NIT.
He then moved onto Stanford as an assistant coach, where the Cardinal were ranked No. 1 for a time and won their first Pac 10 title in 36 years. Stanford was ranked No. 1 twice and went to the NCAA Tournament three times in his final three seasons there.
He left in 2001 to rebuild an ODU program that was struggling. Three years later, in 2004-05, the Monarchs finished 28-6 and went to the NCAA Tournament. It was the first of eight consecutive postseason bids for ODU.
Blaine finished with a career head coaching record of 380-210. His teams played in 10 NCAA tournaments and five times in the NIT.
After leaving ODU, Blaine worked for several seasons as assistant coach at UC Irvine and also worked as a TV color commentator for NBC, Fox Sports and the University of Montana TV and Radio network.
Blaine resides in the Larchmont section of Norfolk and has four daughters – Amber, Ashley, Alexandria and Alanna.