ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia Lady Bulldogs basketball head coach Joni Taylor has been selected to serve as one of two court coaches for the 2018 USA Women’s U18 National Team Trials, which will take place May 26-28 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Taylor joins South Florida’s Jose Fernandez as the two will be on hand to assist the USA U18 coaching staff of Jeff Walz (Louisville), Natasha Adair (Delaware) and Cori Close (UCLA). The team trials will be used to determine finalists for the 2018 USA Women’s U18 National Team that will compete in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Finalists for the team are expected to be announced on May 28.
“It is an absolute honor and privilege to serve as a court coach for the USA U18 trials,” Taylor said. “I am excited to meet so many great athletes and serve alongside coaches who are truly the very best of our sport. USA Basketball has always been at the forefront of growing our game and has helped produce some of the best players in the country, so I understand the tremendous responsibility to coach these bright young women who take pride in representing us. This is a dream come true for me, and I am ready to get started.”
The Georgia head coach is coming off a season that saw the Lady Bulldogs compile a 26-7 overall mark — the team’s best record since 2006-07. Taylor guided Georgia to a second-place finish in the SEC standings and a No. 19 national ranking in the final USA Today Coaches Poll. Among other notable accomplishments, Taylor and the Lady Bulldogs hosted the NCAA tournament first and second rounds in Athens for the first time since 2003.
In her three years at the helm of the Lady Bulldogs’ basketball program, Taylor has compiled a 63-32 record (66.3 percent winning percentage). She has twice been named the Georgia College Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club and was tabbed one of 10 semifinalists for the prestigious Werner Ladder Naismith National Coach of the Year award in 2018. In her first year as head coach, Taylor earned the 2016 Spalding Maggie Dixon National Rookie Coach of the Year honor.
In three seasons, her teams have totaled 10 wins against top-25 opponents, while five players have garnered All-SEC honors, including SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year winners Haley Clark (2018) and Marjorie Butler (2016).
For more information on Taylor and the Lady Bulldogs throughout the offseason, follow the squad on Twitter (@UGA_WBB), Instagram (@uga_wbb) and Facebook (Georgia Women’s Basketball).