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Troy Taylor, EWU gained from one-year partnership

Troy Taylor, right, oversaw a record-setting passing offense this year at Eastern Washington. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Troy Taylor, right, oversaw a record-setting passing offense this year at Eastern Washington. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Troy Taylor made the most of his one year at Eastern Washington, and so did the Eagles.

That makes Taylor’s departure this week for Utah a little easier to swallow for EWU fans, who watched a record-setting offense lead the way to a Big Sky Conference title and a deep run in the FCS playoffs.

“We’re very proud of that as a program, and as much as I hate losing a great coach, there are a lot of positives,” EWU head coach Beau Baldwin said.

Taylor, a longtime high school coach in Folsom, California, took over play-calling duties last year as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He directed an offense that led the nation in passing yards (401 ypg), was second in total yards (529 ypg) and third in scoring offense (42.4 ppg).

Taylor did that with a new quarterback in former walk-on Gage Gubrud, who threw for 48 touchdowns.

“To take a first-year starter to that level … I can’t thank Troy enough,” Baldwin said.

“That alone speaks for itself, and along with that, I was able to spend a lot of time with Troy and learned a lot,” Baldwin said. “I saw how he views things, and that was great for myself.”

The feeling is mutual.

“We had so much fun and had a great staff and great players to work with at Eastern Washington,” the 48-year-old Taylor told the Sacramento Bee.

The move should benefit both Utah – which has struggled in the passing game – and Taylor, who should earn roughly $400,000 annually as the Utes’ offensive coordinator.

Now the Eagles are looking for their third quarterbacks coach in as many years. And just like last year, the departure falls during the recruiting season, and Baldwin is no hurry to make a decision.

“When it’s all said and done, we’ll have something good in place,” Baldwin said.

Taylor’s departure is the third in four years for the Eagles on the offensive side of the ball.

Passing game coordinator Zak Hill left for Hawaii after the 2014 season. He’s now the offensive coordinator at Boise State. A year earlier, wide receivers coach Junior Adams took a similar position at Boise State. Now he’s the offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky.

“It’s exciting, and it just speaks to the quality of coaches that we have,” Baldwin said.

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