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L.C. Bird has named Troy Taylor its new football coach. A 1996 Bird graduate, Taylor has coached at Meadowbrook High School and Virginia Union University during his career.

Few programs have enjoyed as much success as L.C. Bird, which won state championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014 under coach David Bedwell. In the spring of 2017, after 17 seasons leading the Skyhawks, Bedwell was promoted to athletics director.

The timing wasn’t opportune for finding a replacement. So assistant Tony Nicely agreed to become the interim coach for one season. The Skyhawks went 7-4, and Nicely announced his retirement at the end of the season.

In their new coach, Bird found someone who’s part of the family. Taylor, 39, played at L.C. Bird then returned as an assistant in 2000 for Bedwell’s first season.

“This is where I’m from,” Taylor said. “I graduated here. I played here. I coached for Coach Bedwell his first year here. It’s the only high school that I want to coach at.”

He later became head coach at Amelia and then Meadowbrook, where he went 44-19 during six seasons. He spent the next three years at Virginia Union University, two coaching quarterbacks and one coaching defensive ends. He also coordinated the school’s recruiting efforts in the state of Virginia. There he learned a lot from the team’s head coach, Mark James.

“Being at Virginia Union with Mark James was a great experience, because he was a mentor to me,” Taylor said. “He helped me to grow as a coach and as a man.”

While fast-moving spread offenses have proliferated in high school football, Bird approach hasn’t changed much the past 30 years. The Skyhawks use a run-first, power offense. They’re one of the few teams known to line up two fullbacks and two tight ends and use their physical strength to push down field.

That identity, Taylor said, is his identity.

“His ties to the Skyhawk community and his success as a coach are important,” Bedwell said in a statement. “However, it is his desire to continue to build on the many successes of the Bird football team through an innovative approach to coaching and his desire to help his athletes achieve academically that makes him a perfect fit for the Skyhawks’ program.”

Taylor becomes the seventh coach at L.C. Bird, which opened its doors in 1978. ​(804) 649-6109 @EricKolenichRTD