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BYU basketball: Former Cougars star Alan Taylor dies at age 55

Published April 22, 2014 10:06 am

College basketball • Forward ended career with Cougars in 1980.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Provo • Alan Taylor didn't take as many shots in his four-year BYU basketball career as a lot of other former Cougar stars. But when the 6-foot-10 center from Granada Hills, Calif., took them, they usually went in.

Taylor, who shot a school-record 57.7 percent from the field for the Cougars from 1976-80, died last week of complications due to diabetes.

He was 55.

Although Taylor was mostly known for his rebounding, he is the 23rd-leading scorer in BYU history, having scored 1,284 career points. He played his entire college career for coach Frank Arnold, who recruited Taylor and became the head coach the same season Taylor joined the program.

As a rebounder, Taylor has had few equals in school history. Taylor is still tied for second on BYU's career rebounds list with Kresimir Cosic (919). Only Michael Smith, with 922, has gathered more caroms in a BYU uniform.

After he was a three-time CIF 3A Player of the Year in Los Angeles, Taylor played in what is generally known as the "Danny Ainge Era" of BYU basketball. Other teammates included Scott Runia, Mark Handy, Jay Cheesman, Devin Durrant and Fred Roberts.

Taylor led BYU in rebounding (246), blocked shots (28) and field goal percentage (57.1) as a sophomore and was the second-leading scorer (14.4 ppg.) behind Ainge in 1977-78, earning all-Western Athletic Conference honorable mention honors.

He averaged 13.6 points and 9.5 rebounds as a junior in 1978-79 and helped the Cougars win the WAC title and make it to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost 86-63 to No. 19 San Francisco in the first round.

As a senior, Taylor set a Marriott Center record that still stands with 23 rebounds in his final home game, a 114-812 win over San Diego State. He was an all-WAC pick as a junior and a senior.

The Cougars were upset 71-66 by Clemson in the first round of the 1980 NCAA Tournament in Ogden, ending the towering giant's career.

Taylor is survived by five children. Funeral services will be held Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the LDS Chapel located at 4751 Neil Road in Reno, Nev.