POTSDAM -- Clarkson University has hired a new head coach for its men's soccer program, while the last coach remains jailed and under indictment, charged with second-degree murder.
Coach Chris Taylor comes to Potsdam from Vassar College as Clarkson’s eighth head coach of men’s soccer, replacing Oral “Nick” Hilary, who is accused in the October 2011 choking death of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips, a student at A.A. Kingston Middle School.
Taylor will lead the Golden Knights into their 62nd season this fall with a sound knowledge of Clarkson soccer and the Liberty League, according to a press release from the school’s athletics office.
A native of Liverpool, England, he has competed against Clarkson while a four-year standout player and then an assistant coach with the Plattsburgh State University Cardinals.
Taylor served as an assistant coach for conference rival Vassar College since November 2012.
"I couldn't be happier to be joining Clarkson University," said Taylor. "I have wanted to be a head coach for a long time and Clarkson provides a fantastic opportunity to coach at a quality school as well as compete in one of the top conferences in D3. My coaching education at Vassar and Plattsburgh will serve me well in creating my own program."
While on the Vassar staff, he helped to guide the Brewers to an 8-5-5 record and a berth in the Liberty League playoffs last fall. Taylor helped to bring to Vassar a talented class of players from nine different states and three players who competed in the prestigious USSDA Development Academy.
As an assistant coach at Plattsburgh, he helped recruit for two successive teams that went on to finish on top of SUNYAC in 2012 and the SUNYAC postseason championship in 2013.
A 2012 graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, Taylor has been coaching in some capacity for over 10 years.
"We are excited to have Chris on board," said Clarkson Athletic Director Steve Yianoukos. "His passion and enthusiasm for the game coupled with his knowledge of both the Liberty League and upstate New York made him the perfect choice to lead our men's soccer team into the future. I am looking forward to watching the development of the team in the coming years."
Taylor has been head coach for the LaGrange Soccer Club U16 squad in Poughkeepsie since November 2012. The boys U16 Red Devils participated in many of the top East Coast college showcase events.
While a member of the Plattsburgh soccer team, he was selected to the All-SUNYAC First Team three consecutive seasons. Taylor received ECAC Upstate All-Region and NSCAA All-East Region honors twice. He is also the program's all-time assist leader with 38.
Taylor also worked as a player development officer for the New York Red Bulls from 2006-07. A part of the Major League Soccer Network, Red Bull also owns four more teams throughout the world. For the past two years he has visited Liverpool Football Club, spending time shadowing their coaches to learn training methods.
He also served as a coach for the Plattsburgh Football Club.
Taylor has received his NSCAA National Diploma and England Football Association Level One and Level Two coaching certificates.
Meanwhile Coach Hillary, head coach since 2009, was officially relieved of his position less than two weeks after his arrest in May.
Hillary is jailed pending a bail hearing. No trial date has been announced.