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.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Worker at 3A, 4A state basketball tournament tests positive for COVID-19

In a statement released on March 13, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association… Continue reading

Athletic practices and competitions cancelled through April 24 due to coronavirus outbreak

By Andy Nystrom and Benjamin Olson Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March… Continue reading

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Eastside schools are taking precautions… Continue reading

Eagles hold on, take fourth at state

Issaquah held on for a 67-56 victory over Todd Beamer in the girls 4A state tournament.

Issaquah picks up character win over Moses Lake

The Eagles made nine 3-pointers to beat the Chiefs and advance to the fourth-place game.

Issaquah outworked on the boards in loss

The Eagles were outrebounded 42-18 in loss to Central Valley in state quarterfinals.

Hardwood Classic tips off after coronavirus outbreak

By Benjamin Olson and Andy Nystrom Basketball players took to the court… Continue reading

Issaquah shows toughness in victory over Kentridge

The Issaquah girls basketball team opened the 4A state tournament with 57-35 win.

Eagles net all-league honors

Seven Issaquah basketball players were named to the 4A KingCo all-league boys… Continue reading