BLOOMINGTON — Illinois Wesleyan football coach Norm Eash said he was immediately impressed with Christian Taylor after his interview for the Titans' offensive coordinator position in January.

"I offered him the job the next day," said Eash.

Taylor, who was running backs coach/recruiting coordinator at the University of San Diego the last two seasons, began his duties at IWU this week. He replaces Billy Dicken, who left to become Illinois State's wide receivers coach.

"Illinois Wesleyan speaks for itself," said Taylor. "It's a heck of an academic school, has excellent football tradition, is in a great league and has wonderful facilities."

Michigan coach Brady Hoke gave Taylor a high recommendation, said Eash. Taylor served as an offensive analyst for Hoke at Michigan in 2011 and before that was an offensive assistant for two years under Hoke at San Diego State.

"Brady Hoke talked to me for 45 minutes and thought he is an up-and-coming coach," said Eash. "He's organized and very innovative."

Taylor was a quarterback at William & Mary for four years, earning two varsity letters, and graduated in 2007. He stayed with the school for the next two seasons coaching tight ends and quarterbacks. Taylor also had responsibilities with the place-kickers as well as the video-editing system and in the team's recruiting efforts.

Eash said he also was impressed that Taylor "understands" the demands that IWU places on academics with similar-type situations at William & Mary and San Diego, which both compete in the Football Championship Subdivision.

IWU is coming off a 9-2 season in which it qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs. One of Taylor's first task will be grooming a replacement for Rob Gallik, who was a three-year starter at quarterback.

Eash said Taylor worked closely with Denard Robinson at Michigan.

"My background is similar to Coach Eash's. We're both a pro-style, West Coast offense," said Taylor. "Basically it's the same thing except different terminology." 

The Titans open the season Sept. 6 against Franklin (Ind.) at Tucci Stadium. 

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