On Friday Night Lights

Why We Love . . . Coach Eric Taylor

By Jen Chaney

Coach Eric Taylor is a real man.

Yes, he can be called that for a lot of the traditional reasons.

He is fiercely protective of his women, both his wife, Tami, and, especially, his two daughters. He is also occasionally flummoxed by them.

He can be stubborn and unforgiving, especially when he thinks one of his players has acted irresponsibly or that anyone–be it Buddy Garrity or Joe McCoy–is questioning his coaching authority.

And he loves, lives, and breathes his football. We’re pretty sure that when Eric Taylor lies down next to Tami each night and closes his eyes, he’s orchestrating plays in his dreams.

But all that stereotypical male behavior aside, Eric Taylor also happens to be a man in the very best, most honorable sense of the word. He truly elevates the gender.

He cherishes his marriage and lets Tami know daily how much he loves her.

No matter how stressful family life becomes, Eric usually keeps the problems in perspective and his blessings properly counted. (“That is not our burden,” he once told Tami when she started to panic about finding childcare for baby Gracie. “That is our gift.”)

And as a coach, he is more than just an athletic mentor. He is, as Tami and even Billy Riggins told him, a molder of men, a dad of two daughters by blood but an infinite number of sons on the football field. And there was truly nothing Coach would not do for his kids.

He made sure Smash Williams secured a spot at Texas A&M. He  …

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