IRVINGTON, NJ – In his first week as the new athletic director at Irvington High School, Dr. John Taylor has been quite impressed by the commitment, enthusiasm and talent of the student-athletes.
Indeed, Taylor, who started his position July 3, has strong reason to believe that the athletic programs will continue to achieve tremendous amount of success.
Taylor, 37, got to meet the football team that has been working out at the school. The players, he said, have been very respectful. The Blue Knights last fall enjoyed a stellar 8-2 season.
“There are some pretty good pieces in place,” said Taylor about the athletic department. “The football team is going to have a good season. I don’t see how a school this large, we should not be competitive in every single thing that we do. We have so many students and so much talent that we should have competitive teams. My goal is that we compete for championships in everything we do.”
Taylor is a physical fitness guru who hosted a reality TV series about obese students whose goal was to lose weight through physical activities.
Taylor is originally from the state of Washington, having graduated from a high school outside of Seattle where he was an honorable mention All-American football player as a defensive end. He attended McPherson College in Kansas and the University of Washington before graduating from Evergreen St. College in Olympia, Wa. He then received his Master of Science at High Point University in North Carolina and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from North Central University in Arizona. He also obtained his high school principal certification from Caldwell University. In all, Taylor holds five degrees.
Taylor spent five years as a physical education teacher at Wellspring Academy, a school for obese middle school and high school students, in Brevard, N.C. Taylor helped more than 170 students lose a combined 12,000 pounds. A student named Georgia Davis, hailing from England, attended Wellspring and was featured in a documentary aired by the BBC. Following the documentary, the Style Network began a reality TV series called “Too Fat for 15:Fighting Back,” hosted by Taylor.
In his office at IHS, Taylor has an autographed photo of former President Barack Obama congratulating him for his work with obese children.
For the past five years, Taylor served as the athletic director at Beloved Community Charter, an elementary/middle school in Jersey City.
As IHS athletic director, Taylor is focused on securing grant money for the athletic department. Taylor said he has been successful at securing grant money in the past.
Along with building up IHS athletics, Taylor also hopes to strengthen the middle school athletics programs.
“I want to improve on our middle school athletics presence,” said Taylor, who resides in Matawan. “Right now, we don’t play in a league. All the middle school teams are independent and that’s because there aren’t any Essex County middle school leagues. My big goal is to get a middle school league to play in.”