New University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball coach Will Wade is reaching into the Mocs' "Sweet 16" past as he rebuilds for the future.
Former UTC standout and professional basketball player Johnny Taylor is returning to his hometown and will serve as a graduate assistant for the Mocs next season. Taylor will be introduced as the newest member of Wade's staff Tuesday at McKenzie Arena.
In the 1996-97 season, Taylor helped lead the Mocs to a 24-11 record, a Southern Conference title and upset wins over Georgia and Illinois in the NCAA tournament to reach the "Sweet 16."
After the Mocs' magical run, Taylor was a first-round selection by the Orlando Magic in the NBA Draft. Taylor played for the Magic and Denver Nuggets before continuing his pro career overseas. He retired from basketball in 2012, and recently returned to UTC to finish his undergraduate degree and start a youth basketball camp, which will be held Aug. 1-3 at Notre Dame high school.
For more on this story, see Tuesday's Times Free Press.