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 ReviewJan. 20-26, 2015Men's Basketball - Senior guard Jarvis Summers scored 4 points in the final 26.6 seconds to lift Ole Miss to a 72-71 victory over Florida Saturday. Summers scored a team-high 16 points, including... read more
Classes started on the Ole Miss campus this past week, as the men's and women's basketball teams enter the heart of Southeastern Conference play. Some of the spring sports have started their 2015 seasons, while others are gearing up for... read more
Former Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt capped an impressive week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, with a game-high five tackles in the game itself Saturday. His former teammate, cornerback Senquez Golson sat out the game with a hamstring... read more
Ole Miss closes out a three-game stretch in which they will have faced three consecutive ranked opponents when they welcome No. 18 Mississippi State on Thursday night. The Rebels are 1-1 through the first two games of the stretch, having... read more
Photo GalleryCody Prewitt and Senquez Golson will represent Ole Miss in the Senior Bowl, which will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. CT from Mobile, Alabama, and will be televised by the NFL Network. The duo have already had a busy... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 13-19, 2015Men's Basketball - Ole Miss thrashed No. 19 Arkansas 96-82 on Saturday. The Rebels picked up their first true road win over a ranked opponent since 2003 and scored the second-most points ever... read more
The Ole Miss men's and women's basketball teams both made some history, while the men's and women's tennis teams started their spring seasons. National Signing Day (Feb. 4) and the start of baseball season (Feb. 13) are less than a... read more
After an up-and-down non-conference slate that included wins over Creighton, Cincinnati and Oregon, all away from home, and losses to Charleston Southern and Western Kentucky, both at home, Ole Miss learned a lot about itself in the first week of... read more
Ole Miss football finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record and a top-20 final national rankings in both polls. The Rebels come in at No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 19 in the Amway Coach... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 6-12, 2015Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 2-0 on the week with a road win at Florida and a win at home against Alabama, moving to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in SEC action while... read more
The Ole Miss men's basketball team opened SEC play, while the Ole Miss women's basketball team continued SEC play, as we enter the heart of college basketball season. Over the weekend, the men's and women's teams posted wire-to-wire wins on... read more
Ole Miss looks to reverse history, as the Rebels (9-4) travel to No. 1 Kentucky tonight (6 p.m., SEC Network), the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Ole Miss is 0-15 all-time against the nation's top ranked team, last playing... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 29, 2014-Jan. 5, 2015Football- The No. 9 Ole Miss football team finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record, its best since 2009, after a 42-3 defeat to No. 6 TCU in the... read more