Fred Taylor served as head basketball coach at the Ohio State University for 18 years, from 1959 to 1976. During this period, Buckeye basketball enjoyed its greatest success with seven Big Ten Championships, including one stretch of five in a row — the only time this has been accomplished in Big Ten history. Under Taylor, Ohio State won a National Championship in 1960, was runner-up both in 1961 and 1962 and finished third in 1968. Taylor guided the Buckeyes into five NCAA Tournaments, winning the regional championship four times. With Fred as coach Ohio State played 18 NCAA Tournament games, winning 14 and losing only four.
His overall record at Ohio State was 297 wins and only 158 losses for a winning percentage of .654. The 1960, 61 and 62 Ohio State teams were regarded as among the finest in collegiate history. These three teams compiled a record of 78-6. All five starters from the National Championship team played basketball in the NBA and one, John Havlicek, has become the fourth leading scorer in the history of professional basketball. Taylor was voted College Coach of the Year in 1961 and 1962.
Fred was enshrined in the Ohio Athletic Hall of Fame in 1980 and was enshrined in the National Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach on May 6, 1986. He was a member of the Olympic Basketball Committee from 1964-1972. He served as President of the National Association of Basketball Coaches from 1972 through 1973.
Fred Taylor was a leader among those in his profession. He had a reputation for his coaching excellence and dedication to the community. He was a talented recruiter who stressed the fundamentals and smart team play. Taylor died on January 6, 2002.
Watch Fred Taylor’s Enshrinement: