For over 30 years, the Rider wrestling program has enjoyed national respect and recognition, thanks to Head Coach Gary Taylor, who in the fall of 2010 was presented with the Frank N. Elliott Award for dedicated service to Rider University.
After 34 seasons, Taylor has compiled 380 Division I victories, the second highest total in the NCAA among active coaches.
When Taylor came to Rider in 1978 to succeed the program's founder, National Wrestling Hall of Famer Barry Burtnett, he set forth a goal of bringing eastern and national recognition to wrestling on the Rider campus. This he has done, with a 380-213-4 dual meet record at Rider, against the toughest level of competition in the East.
The 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1997, 1998 and 1999 East Coast Wrestling Association Coach of the Year, Taylor has turned out 95 conference champions, including four at the 2008 Colonial Athletic Association Championships, and has taken 148 Broncs to the NCAA Championships, including 35 in the last eight years.
Rider has won conference championships in 1984, '86, '88, '89,'90,'91,'93,'94, '96, '97, '98, '99 and 2000, and finished runner-up in the CAA twice in the last eight years before three straight third place finishes.
The pinnacle of Taylor's career, however, came in 1997, when the Broncs cracked the top ten in the national poll and were ranked seventh in the nation over the final five weeks of the season by the Amateur Wrestling News.
In 1996 he escorted nine Broncs to the NCAA National Championships, where only perennial national champion Iowa had more with 10, and finished the dual meet season ranked 24th in the country. In 1993 his Broncs finished the dual meet season ranked 19th in the nation and finished 26th in Division I at the Nationals.
In 1997, Taylor came home from Nationals with three All-Americans and added another in each of the next three seasons.
To date 13 of Taylor's wrestlers have earned All-America honors, including two in the last six years.
Taylor holds an honors degree in health and physical education from East Stroudsburg University, where he assisted the wrestling program for two years, and a master's degree in school administration and supervision from Rider.