"The leadership, mentoring and coaching I received as a Michigan Wolverine prepared me for the rest of my life" - Billy Taylor
William L. Taylor, Jr. Ed. D. President, GBU
Born in Hoxie, Arkansas, Dr. Taylor is the youngest of seven children: three brothers and three sisters. He spent his early years in Memphis, until his father's death in 1954; Billy was five years old. His mother, Mariah Marie Taylor, moved the family to Barberton, Ohio, where Billy spent the rest of his childhood excelling in sports and in the classroom. The two big football power houses, Ohio State and Michigan, competed for his talent during his senior year. His decision to attend the University of Michigan set the stage for his future academic and athletic achievements. Taylor is still a University of Michigan Legend:
- Three-time All-American Running Back: 1969, 1970, 1971
- All-Big Ten First Team: 1969, 1970, 1971
- All Time U of M Record Holder: Average Rushing Yards per Game: 102 yards
- Taylor broke Michigan's career rushing record in three seasons. His 587 attempts were more than any previous Wolverine runner. He finished second to Tom Harmon in career touchdowns with 32 and in points with 194.
- Taylor was tapped as Michigan's Most Valuable Player in 1971. Taylor was drafted in the 5th round, 5th pick by the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. He also played in the CFL with the Calgary Stampede.
Billy Taylor's life drastically changed when his mother died suddenly on January 4, 1971, only three days after his final game as a Wolverine playing Stanford in the Rose Bowl. In the next 6 months, his favorite uncle murdered his aunt and then took his own life. His girlfriend Valerie was stabbed to death in Detroit. His NFL career was limited by a series of knee injuries. These events started a long downward spiral of depression, drinking, drugs and encounters with the law. Although he completed a Master's Degree in Education, secured a job with General Motors, married and had three children, his slide into alcoholism put him on the streets and led to his divorce.
On August 17, 1997, Billy Taylor had his last drink. An experience with God on the desperate streets of Detroit directed Taylor to reclaim his life. As he ascended into a more productive lifestyle, he acknowledged his educational achievements to date and set out to pursue his doctorate degree. In May, 2003, Dr. William L. Taylor, Jr. accepted his Ed. D. from the University of Nevada - Las Vegas. He has held several positions at the Community College of Southern Nevada, the fifth largest community college in the world, including Athletic Compliance Officer, Academic Advisor Interim Director of Retention and faculty member in the Department of English. Today, Dr. Taylor has experience to share and a passion to assist young adults, students and student athletes understand and manage their transitions and choices in the world of academics, intercollegiate sports and life planning. Dr. Taylor was the Director Rehabilitation Services for the Salvation Army of Southeast Michigan from 2006 until August of 2008 working in Detroit and Pontiac, Michigan. Currently, Dr. Taylor is the founder, President and CEO of Get Back Up, Inc. (GBU).