GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College Director of Athletics Tom Palombo announced the appointment of Ben Abitz and Kerry Taylor, Sr., as assistant coaches on the Quakers' football staff Friday. Abitz will coach the running backs under third-year head coach Chris Rusiewicz and Taylor serves as H-Backs coach.
Abitz graduated last May with a degree in business and economics from Ursinus College, where he lettered four seasons with the football team. For Abitz's first two years, Rusiewicz was the Bears' assistant head coach and defensive coordinator under head coach Peter Gallagher. In addition to his playing experience, Abitz completed summer internships with football coaching staffs at Brown University and the University of New Hampshire. Last January he was one of 30 students selected from across the nation for the Future Football Coaches' Academy. Held in conjunction with the American Football Coaches' Association's annual convention, the academy provided seminars and networking opportunities for aspiring college coaches.
Abitz was an accomplished student at Ursinus and minored in coaching. He made the school's dean's list eight times and was a three-time Academic All-Centennial Conference selection. The Coventry, Conn., native appeared on both sides of the ball in 31 career games, but played mostly on special teams. Abitz earned Ursinus' 2012 Iron Bear Award for offseason commitment, work ethic and leadership. He attended East Catholic High School where he lettered in football and baseball.
Taylor joins the Quakers after coaching in the high school ranks in North Carolina and his native New York. Also a teacher in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system, he was the defensive coordinator at Atkins High School in 2010 and spent 12 seasons as an assistant football coach at Carver High School. Taylor started coaching in his hometown of Yonkers, N.Y., first as an assistant at his alma mater, Gorton High School, and later at crosstown-rival Lincoln. He spent four seasons (1990-94) as Lincoln's head coach and revived the program, which had folded in 1988. Taylor was named the 1991 League 2-A Coach of the Year after helping the Lancers to their first bowl game in 18 years.
Taylor was a star running back and defensive back at Gorton and later played collegiately for coach Kevin Gilbride at Southern Connecticut State University. Taylor rushed for 1,948 yards and 15 touchdowns for the NCAA Division II Owls and helped the team go 28-11-2 in four seasons. The business major twice led the team in rushing and helped the 1982 unit to a 9-1 record and ninth-place national ranking. After a tryout with the National Football League's San Diego Chargers, Taylor moved north to the Canadian Football League where he was the Toronto Argonauts' top rookie in 1985. He spent the 1986 season with the Montreal Alouettes.
Guilford opens the 2013 season Sept. 7 at Greensboro College in annual Gate City Soup Bowl Game. The Quakers were picked fifth in the 2013 Old Dominion Athletic Conference preseason coaches' poll and return 16 starters from last year's 5-5 team.