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.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewAug. 25-31, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss opened the 2014 season with a 35-13 win over Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Atlanta's Georgia Dome.- The Rebels led 7-6 entering the fourth quarter... read more
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