Former Mustang head football coach an Athletic Director Steve Taylor was recently honored during halftime of the annual ASCO All Star Football game held at Lowrey field at Plains Capital Park in Lubbock on Saturday night, June 1.
Taylor was presented with the Greg Sherwood Service Award and now joins 13 other recipients which includes his brother Johnny Taylor who was presented this same award in 2013. Other notables familiar with Denver City residents are Gary Gaines who coached the Mustangs in 1978, Butch Henderson who is the current head coach at Wayland Baptist, and long-time Post coach Bobby Davis.
Sporting goods business owners John Cardinal of Cardinal’s Athletic Supplies in Lubbock and Ronny Flowers of Athletic Supply in Odessa are also among those selected to receive this award.
The Greg Sherwood Service Award is named after Coach Greg Sherwood. It epitomizes what service, leadership, and character are about in the education field. Coach Sherwood was a big supporter of football and athletics in the entire West Texas region earning many successes throughout his career.
“I want to thank my family, especially my wife Renee, for their support through all these years and thank the guys who coached with me and played for me,” Taylor said. “They all made coaching so much fun. And last but not least I want to thank God for calling me to be a coach and I give all the glory to him.”
A 1972 graduate from Spur High School, Taylor went on to play football at Angelo State University for four years. It was also at Angelo State where he started his coaching career where he was a graduate assistant for two years. He got his first public school coaching job at Muleshoe in 1978 as the offensive line coach. From there he joined Coach Mike Wartes in moving to Denver City in 1981 where he spent the next 18 years. The last six of those years he served as the head coach and Athletic Director.
In 1999 Taylor left Denver City to become head coach and AD in Ozona where he spent the next six years, five years as the head coach and the sixth year as the high school principal. He left Ozona and became the head coach and AD at Midland Greenwood in 2005. From there he spent one year in Brownfield before returning back to Denver City in 2011 where he once again took over the reins of the Mustangs before retiring in 2017 after 41 years of coaching and teaching.
Coach Taylor taught his kids more than just football. He wanted them to be humble servants and annually started their football season with a community workday. His student athletes took one Saturday where they would work odd jobs throughout the community. This would range from mowing grass and cleaning yards to moving large objects to the dump ground.
One way Taylor would show support for other programs would be loading his players in an bus where they would travel to Lubbock showing their support for the Mustang Marching band in their annual marching contest. Another way the players would show their compassion was spending each Thursday during the season going to the local nursing home visiting with the residents. And in December the football team would head to Hobbs and buy gifts for as many as 80 needy community children using funds they had made selling Mustang gift cards for discounted items from several local merchants.
Coach Taylor’s 22 year head coaching record was 165-79-1 with 17 playoff appearances. His teams won 9 District Championships, 9 Bi-District championships and made two trips to the Quarter Finals.
In addition, he was District Coach of the Year 10 times, Area Coach of the Year 4 times, and was the Tom Landry award nominee for the region 4 times. He was honored in 2017 with the National Football Foundation Coach of the Year Award for this area.
Coach Taylor and his staff had the honor of serving as coaches for the 2014 ASCO All Star game. Three of his players, Mason Milligan, Keyshawn Hawkins, and Jared King, had the privilege of playing in this game.
The ASCO All-Star Classic was started in 2005 when two West Texas’ standout coaches – Johnny Taylor of Idalou and James Morton of Midland Lee – wanted to host an annual first-class gridiron event that would serve two purposes.
One was to showcase the talents of the area’s recently graduated seniors from all classifications in an all-star game and give them an experience that they wouldn’t soon forget. The second, and most  important, was to use the contest as a means to monetarily assist schoolboys from our area who had suffered severe football-related injuries during game action.
Four young men – Joe Beene of Odessa Permian, Tanner Cook of Idalou, Luis Morales of Vega and Jeremy Green of Levelland – have been the recipients of more than $217,000 in assistance and love because of this annual event.
Coach Taylor and his wife Renee’ have been married for 43 years and have two children. Scarlett and her husband Brandon live in Andrews where Scarlett serves as a speech pathologist. His son Jarryd and wife Laura live in Midland where Jarryd is a football coach for Midland High. He has one grandson Jace Ezekiel and another grandson due in July.
Congratulations to Coach Taylor for receiving this honor and for continuing to serve as an example for the young people of Denver City to look up to.