Johnson C. Smith University head women’s basketball coach Vanessa Taylor has been named CIAA coach of the year. She received the award at a ceremony Sunday at the Charlotte Convention Center.

The Lady Golden Bulls finished the regular season 22-3 overall, 14-3 in the CIAA, and 8-2 in the Southern Division. The 22 wins eclipsed the 21-10 mark Taylor’s JCSU team set during the 2007-08 season. It also matches her most wins in a season. (Taylor led Elizabeth City State to a 22-5 record during the 1999-2000 season, and she won CIAA Coach of the Year in 1997 and 1999 while at ECSU.)

“This is definitely a blessing from God to win this award,” she said in a statement released by the university. “It’s nice to know that your hard work has been acknowledged, but like I tell my team, you can’t afford to look back because you’ll miss new blessings in front of you.”

Taylor, a native of Moultrie, Ga., is a graduate of Tuskegee University (Class of ’91).

As champions of the CIAA Southern-Division, the Lady Golden Bulls have a first-round bye and will not play Monday in the opening round of the women’s tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena.

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