Women's cross country head coach Diljeet Taylor, middle, holds the national championship trophy. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

BYU Athletics clarifies head coach practice with promotion of Diljeet Taylor

BYU Athletics announced the promotion of Diljeet Taylor to women’s cross country head coach on Tuesday, using the change as an opportunity to clarify that it was a “practice but not a policy” that head coaches were often members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the past.

The press release announcing Taylor’s promotion included a short description of the coach’s background, saying she grew up in the Sikh religion and is not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“While in the past head coaches throughout BYU Athletics have often been members of the Church, it has been a practice but not a policy,” the press release says.

Other current head coaches around BYU are members of the Church, including football’s Kalani Sitake and men’s basketball coach Mark Pope, but this clarification opens up the possibility for future hires to come from outside of Church membership.

Taylor previously acted as cross country associate head coach and will continue to serve as associate head coach for BYU men’s and women’s track and field under head coach Ed Eyestone. She led the women’s cross country team to a national championship in March and several individual achievements for BYU’s distance runners in track and field.

For more on Taylor, her vision and impact with BYU’s runners, see our piece from earlier this summer.

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