RIP Robert Taylor - Santa Monica College

It is with great sadness that I inform you that Robert Taylor -- SMC football coach for 15 years who not only steered his team to three bowl games but had a major impact on the lives of many young men, including such NFL star players as Steve Smith -- died this morning. He was 64.

He had been out on medical leave this semester.

Taylor had been on the Corsair coaching staff since 1984 and was named head coach in 1994, a position he held through last season.

In 2003, he was named "Coach of the Year" by the Western States Conference Southern Division. He won more than half his games as coach.

Taylor received national media attention from such outlets as ESPN and New York Newsday for his close mentoring relationship with SMC players who went on to careers in the NFL, particularly Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers and Chad Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals. Smith and several other players have said that if it hadn't been for Coach Taylor, they would have been in jail or dead because they came from tough neighborhoods and he helped turn their lives around.

Funeral services are pending. We will notify you when services are set.

Chui L. Tsang

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