Folsom High Football Coaches Build their Success through Honesty
Troy Taylor and Kris Richardson - Photography by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group
Kris Richardson and Troy Taylor have more in common than their position as co-head coaches of the Folsom High School varsity football team. They’re both P.E. teachers, fathers of three and former football players (Richardson played for the University of New Mexico; Taylor spent two years as a quarterback for the New York Jets). And although the two men moved in similar social circles during high school, they didn’t officially meet until their first day working at Folsom High—and quickly became the best of friends. “We spend all day together,” Richardson says with a laugh. “Our kids play at each other’s houses.”
The two men also share a similar philosophy when it comes to coaching. “The foundation of what we believe is honest and open communication with kids,” Taylor explains. “It’s about acceptance for who they are, bonding and belonging.” Together with their team of coaches—many who volunteer their time—Richardson and Taylor aim to motivate kids through teamwork and positivity, as opposed to fear. And it’s worked: The Folsom High School Bulldogs have won two state championships since 2010, and they’ve been section champions for four out of the last five years. Even more rewarding for the two coaches, however, is being able to prepare the players for their future careers and lives. “Team culture is about everybody being valued, not just great players,” Taylor shares. “Through football, kids get confidence in all aspects of their lives.”
Q: What comes to you naturally?
Kris: Coaching football and being a dad.
Troy: Teaching, motivating and leading.
Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Troy: Excuses instead of commitment.
Q: Biggest life inspirations?
Kris: My mom and dad—they taught me the value of hard work and how to be a good person.
Troy: My wife’s love, support and belief in me.
Q: Favorite humanitarian cause?
Kris: Evening of Dreams—a prom for students with special needs.
Troy: Anti-bullying. Everyone has the right to be who he or she is without fear of ridicule, humiliation or intimidation.
Q: Best words of wisdom you’ve received?
Kris: Surround yourself with great people.
Troy: Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.