Tai Dillard enters her second season as an assistant coach at Ole Miss for the 2014-15 season.
Dillard tutors the Ole Miss point guards and worked with Valencia McFarland during her first year in Oxford. McFarland continued to excel under Dillard's watch, leading the Rebels with 6.3 assists per game while leading the team in scoring with 17.0 points per game. McFarland will graduate as Ole Miss' No. 6 scorer with 1655 career points. McFarland, who increased her scoring output by nearly six points during her senior campaign, also become just the second player in program history to lead the Rebels in steals in each of her four seasons.
Prior to coming to Ole Miss, Dillard spent the 2012-13 season as an assistant coach at USC in Los Angeles, Calif. While at USC during the 2012-13 season, Dillard helped coach two guards, Brianna Barrett and Ariya Crook, to All Pac-12 postseason honors.
"I'm excited to have Tai join the Rebel Nation," Insell said. "Not only is she a great coach, but she's a great person. She's proven herself over her coaching career not only to be a great recruiter but also in the development of perimeter players. I'm ecstatic about having her work with our point guards.
She brings three years of playing experience in the WNBA and that experience is huge to have to be able to teach our players what it takes to get to that level. Having played collegiately at the University of Texas, her recruiting ties to the state of Texas are huge for us."
Prior to USC, she spent five seasons as an assistant at Texas-San Antonio where her primary duties included recruiting, working with the guards, scouting and organizing summer camps. During Dillard's time at UTSA, the program made back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2008 and 2009 after winning Southland Tournament Championships. The Roadrunners also won the Southland regular-season title in 2009.
While at UTSA, 11 of Dillard's players earn All-Southland postseason awards. Her work with Monica Gibbs helped launch Gibbs to the UTSA's all-time assists and rebounding leader, a three-time all-conference performer, the Southland Player of the Year and the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.
Dillard's began her coaching career at the high school level where she served as a head cross country coach and assistant basketball and track & field coach at Sam Houston High School.
A four-year letterwinner at the University of Texas for Hall of Fame head coach Jody Conradt, Dillard helped the team to a 92-42 record and four straight NCAA appearances, including a Final Four trip in her senior year from 1999-2003. As a senior, Dillard started 34 games and helped the Longhorns to an overall record of 29-6. She was a two-time Big 12 All-Academic honoree.
As a pro, Dillard played for the WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars from 2003-05, appearing in 57 games. She briefly played in the National Women's Basketball League for the Houston Stealth in 2004 and gained more experience overseas while playing in the Israeli Premier Basketball League for the Macabbi Tel Kabir from 2004-05.
Dillard, a native of San Antonio, Texas, received her bachelor's degree in kinesiology in 2003.
Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games. Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more
Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more
Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more
With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more
While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more
In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more
Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more
Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 24-30, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.- The Rebels finish the... read more
Ole Miss collected a lot of hardware over the weekend, as the football team reclaimed the Egg Bowl trophy and the men's and women's basketball returned home with regular-season tournament championship. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week... read more