Many Erskine alumni share the same story: they aren’t sure whether Erskine is the right fit for them … until they experience it for themselves.
Erskine alumnus Van Taylor ’75 has coached soccer at Lander University for 30 years after a career in pro soccer. In an interview with a local paper, he recounts his first encounter with Erskine College:
Taylor was, at first, signed to play for Davis & Elkins, in West Virginia. But while on a soccer tour in Germany, Taylor found out Davis & Elkins’ then-coach left. So, Taylor’s father — who had been in touch with then-Erskine coach Darrell Saunders — visited Erskine for Taylor.
The father liked it. The son? He had no clue, but that’s where it was decided he would try.
“My dad said, ‘Oh, you’ll love it,'” Taylor recalled.
Taylor, who earned All-American honors at West Essex (New Jersey) High School — the same school one-time USA men’s soccer coach Bob Bradley later attended — was not as excited about Erskine.
Taylor remembers calling home and saying, “Dad, I’m not staying.”
“There’s no way,” Taylor added. “I grew up outside New York City and New Jersey. No way I was going to stay there for four years.”
But Taylor’s father suggested he at least give it one semester.
Taylor decided to not only stay at Erskine, but also flourish there. He graduated from Erskine in 1975.
“This brings back a lot of memories,” said Taylor, an Erskine Hall of Fame member. “Not only did I get my degree here, but I got a great education. I met my wife (Beth, Greenwood District 50 director of secondary education) here. So, [Erskine] is a special place to me.”
Longtime Bearcats coach Taylor honored by stadium dedicationl.