Shaun Scott/staff photo Skyline Spartans Mat Taylor instructs a player on the fundamentals of the game during the fourth spring football practice on June 6. Taylor was presented with the Gatorade Coaching Excellence Award on June 5 at Skyline High School. The award, which is given out to just two coaches throughout the U.S. per year, honors the best and most dedicated high school coaches across the country.

Taylor attains a coveted honor

Since Mat Taylor took over the Skyline Spartans football program as head coach in 2008, the Spartans have won four state championships.

Skyline, which won state titles in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, advanced to the Class 4A quarterfinals in 2016 and lost in the 4A title game in 2015. Taylor’s sterling resume hasn’t gone unnoticed by the masses. Taylor was one of just two coaches in the United States to win the 2017 Gatorade Coaching Excellence Award. Gatorade officials made the trip to Sammamish on June 5, where the award was presented to Taylor in front his family, friends, current players and former players. The Gatorade Coaching Excellence Award was established in 2016 to honor the best and most dedicated high school coaches across the country. Cathy Self-Morgan, who is the women’s head basketball coach at Duncanville High School in Texas, was other individual to win the award.

“It was awesome. It was just surreal with all that was happening. It has been a great experience and was really fun,” Taylor said. “I got so many texts. There was a good contingency of former players who came which was really special. The special thing was a lot of those guys who were on my first team as head coach in 2008 were here. Seeing those guys was cool.”

Current Seattle Seahawks players Kasen Williams (2011 graduate) and Jordan Simone (2011 Skyline graduate) made the drive to Sammamish to witness Taylor’s achievement. Taylor will be in his 10th season as head coach of the Spartans this fall and will be in his 18th season in the program. Taylor was an assistant coach at Skyline from 1999 through 2007. Taylor and his wife Katie will attend the 2017 ESPY Awards on July 12 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

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