HOUSTON, TEXAS (March 19, 2011 ) University of Houston head swimming coach Mark Taylor passed away late Friday evening of an apparent heart attack in Austin, Texas. His wife, Lorraine, and his two sons, Troy and Zane, survive Taylor, 50.
“This is a sad and difficult day. We lost a family member today,” said Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades. “Mark was a terrific coach and even better person. He will be truly missed by the many lives he touched. Our thoughts and prayers are with Lorraine and his two sons, Troy and Zane. He was a passionate man and his enthusiasm for the University of Houston and his student-athletes was contagious to all those around him.”
Taylor had just completed his ninth season as head coach for the Houston swimming team. He saw great success at UH with seven top-30 NCAA finishes — 2009 (17th), 2008 (28th), 2007 (23rd), 2006 (23rd), 2005 (20th), 2004 (22nd) and 2003 (20th).
He was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year in 2009 after finishing second at the conference meet and leading the team to its highest national finish of Taylor’s career and highest for UH since 1986. He tutored All-American swimmer Sasha Schwendenwein to a 16th-place in the 200 Butterfly in 2009
Taylor came to Houston after some years in international swimming, coaching teams in Denmark and Iceland. He coached in the 1996 Olympic games for Lithuania as well as the 1993 European Championships. Taylor also served as an assistant coach at Arizona State for five seasons.
Funeral and visitation arrangements are being made and will be released when finalized.