Sports Extra with Dave Ross: SHS football: There’s much to like about new coach


I had a ringside seat for the seven seasons Dave Taynor was the head football coach at the now defunct Urbana University from 2008-14.

I was a member of the Board of Trustees and served as its liaison to UU intercollegiate athletics during a period of significant financial strife for the institution. Dave won games and conference championships while running a solid program with solid young men.

I was delighted when his name recently surfaced as a candidate to succeed Adam Doenges as Sidney High head coach. Taynor was selected just over a week ago, and is already attending events and getting to know the local landscape. Dave spent the past two seasons running the program at Graham Local, near St. Paris, with records of 7-4 and 5-6. He also assisted in the Covid shortened 2020 campaign when the Falcons went 7-1.

By Graham standards, that’s a pretty decent run of success. The Falcons were dominant in the Dave Gates era of the early 1970’s before Gates departed for Sidney, and it’s largely been a struggle ever since.

It’s logical to wonder if Taynor is simply biding his time until another college job of his liking comes along. However, his priorities won’t allow that.

“My first obligations are as a husband and father, and college recruiting is a barrier to that,” the Columbus native says. “The situation is workable with being a high school coach.” He and his wife have a 10-year-old daughter who has entered organized sports.

I have a favorite Dave Taynor story, and I’m also involved. From 2006-2015 I was the public address announcer for University of Dayton football. UD was encountering ongoing difficulty in finding non-league games to fill out their schedule. I suggested nearby Urbana but the Dayton folks didn’t think Urbana would be willing. I responded that we might be able to make it happen despite the two schools normally playing at very different levels.

The Urbana Blue Knights traveled to play the Dayton Flyers on September 12, 2009 and received $10,000 for making the trip. Urbana won the game 13-10, a big upset that gained national attention.

When the game ended, the UD side of Welcome Stadium was subdued and cleared out quickly, contrasted with the visitors side which was enthusiastic and lingering. I moved quickly to join the Urbana contingent, and my arrival resulted in an immediate bearhug from coach and former UU offensive lineman Dave Taynor. The scoreboard remained on as many players, coaches, families, and fans posed for photos in front of that final score.

Some 13 years later, Dave Taynor is Sidney’s head football coach and I’m quite happy about that.

Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross graduated from Sidney High School in 1972, Urbana University in 1976, and the University of Dayton in 1978.

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