Halston Taylor began his MIT coaching career in 1982 and since that time, the cross country and track and field programs have become among the most successful programs at the Institute. Taylor began his career as an assistant coach with the cross country team and he now serves as the Director and Head Coach of the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field programs.
In cross country, his teams have combined for 33 NEWMAC Championships since 1998, including a perfect 21-for-21 on the men’s side as MIT is the only program to ever win the NEWMAC crown. Taylor has been named as the NEWMAC Coach of the Year 16 times for the men’s program and eight times for the women’s team, as well as five-straight men’s Coach of the Year awards in the 1990’s in the Constitution Athletic Conference.
In addition, Taylor is a five-time women’s cross country USTFCCCA Regional Coach of the Year and a three-time recipient for men’s cross country. His women’s team has captured six overall NCAA Regional Championships, including three straight, while his men’s team has won three regional titles. At the NCAA Division III National Championship, the Engineers’ men’s team has four top-10 performances and for the women, the team has placed among the top 10 in 11 straight seasons. In 2018, the women’s team finished on the podium for the fifth time with a third-place showing and have now been in the top five in six straight seasons.
The men’s cross country program has produced 10 All-Americans under Taylor’s watch, along with 12 All-Americans for the women.
On the track, Taylor’s teams have combined for 32 NEWMAC Outdoor Championships that include 19 straight on the men’s side and 11 consecutive titles for the women. Indoors, the men’s team has won 10 New England Division III Championships, including the 2019 title. For the women’s squad, the Engineers have four indoor New England D3 crowns and most recently won three straight from 2015-17.
Taylor has also been honored a combined 13 times by the USTFCCCA with regional track and field Coach of the Year honors, including five for the men’s outdoor track and field program. The USTFCCCA has also twice awarded Taylor’s program with the NCAA Division III Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award, which recognizes the top overall program in the nation based on finishes in the cross country, indoor and outdoor national championships.
Outdoors, the Engineers have captured six straight New England Division III Men’s Championships to go along with six of the last seven women’s titles. At the national level, the Engineers’ men’s team most recently finished as the National Runner-Up at the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor National Championship.
During his career, Taylor has coached 12 NCAA Elite 90 Award winners as that accolade is given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average at the national championship site. Included in that total is a sweep of the men’s and women’s honors at the 2019 indoor championship in Boston with Josh Rosenkranz and Margaret Trautner capturing the awards.
Taylor’s student-athletes have won numerous NCAA individual national championships, including indoor and outdoor triple jump crowns by Yorai Shaoul in 2018-19 and four NCAA titles each by Cimran Virdi (pole vault) and Uzoma Orji (shot put and weight throw). Among those national champions is Maryann Gong, who was named as a Top 30 finalist for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award and earned back-to-back CoSIDA Division III National Academic All-America of the Year honors in 2015 and 2016.
Before arriving at MIT, Taylor coached the women’s track club at South Carolina and was the boy’s track coach at both Granby and Mohawk Regional high schools in Massachusetts. Taylor also coached the boy’s and girl’s cross country teams at Mohawk Regional.
A native of Columbia, S.C., Taylor is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where he was a four-year letter winner and a 4:05-miler. After receiving his undergraduate degree in physical education, Taylor earned his Master’s degree in exercise science from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
(Updated on 9/6/19)