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 ReviewSept. 8-14, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss captured the Magnolia Invitational this past weekend to improve to 10-0, its best start in school history.- The Rebels downed UAB and Mercer 3-0 and then defeated Jacksonville State 3-1... read more
After a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, Ole Miss moved up four spots to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, released on Sunday. Despite breaking into the top 10, the Rebels remain fifth among Southeastern Conference Western Division... read more
This is the third installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more
Leading 1-0 after controlling the play for much of the game, Ole Miss opened up a 3-0 lead on Middle Tennessee with a pair of goals in the final minute of the first half on the way to a 4-0... read more
Senior cornerback Senquez Golson has come a long way since he was a freshman. That season, he was most notably on the receiving end of a highlight reel juke from Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Three years later, as part... read more
Three areas to watch as Ole Miss faces Louisiana-Lafayette in its home opener Saturday. Wearing the Bull's-Eye After a 2-0 start with wins over Boise State and Vanderbilt, Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll,... read more
With a chance to make history, Ole Miss dropped a first set for the first time this season. The Rebels answered the bell winning the next three sets to defeat Jacksonville State 3-1 and improve to 10-0 on the season,... read more
Rebel Nation goes into its home opener Saturday excited for the return of football at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, but also saddened by the loss of one of its most renowned voices.Stan Sandroni, 64, passed away of a heart attack late Wednesday.... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' home opener Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and will be televised on the SEC Network.Freeze's time... read more
Former Ole Miss football player Jody Hill has partnered with Square Books in Oxford to launch his book, "38: The Chucky Mullins Effect," celebrating the life and impact of his Ole Miss teammate Chucky Mullins. Hill will be signing copies... read more
From week one to week two, head coach Hugh Freeze and offensive line coach Matt Luke are generally pleased with the progress along the offensive line. The number of false start penalties went from eight to two, while the... read more
With back-to-back tournament titles to open the season, the Rebels are 7-0 to start the season for the first time since 2007 and are also the only Southeastern Conference team still undefeated."We feel like at this point in our season... read more