Former United States president Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Former United States president Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

While Plainview girls golf coach Taylor Howard might not carry a big stick or even a golf club anymore, her words are still spoken softly, but her results have spoken even louder. 

Taylor Howard is the 2019 Best of the Arbuckles Preps Girls Coach of the Year, after she helped lead the Lady Indians to their third straight state championship, and fourth overall in program history.

“I haven’t really sat back and thought about the success we’ve had this year to be honest,” Howard said. “I’ve been blessed with a very amazing group of girls, and the opportunities I’ve gotten to have at Plainview have been amazing. Our program has done some great things over the last four years, and it’s made me very excited. God has blessed me with some amazing things, and I’m so happy to be here coaching at Plainview.”

“Our Athletic Director David Gilliam has been tremendous,” Howard added. “He always tells me he’s not going to step on my toes and he’s going to just let me do my job. It means so much to have a supportive AD behind you, because he believes in me so much. The parents of the program have been amazing as well, and it’s just so nice to have such a supportive family behind us.”

This season, the Lady Indians entered as the defending Back-to-Back Class 4A state champions.

Although they would not get the opportunity to defend that specific title, Plainview was able to set its sights on a new challenge as the Lady Indians were dropped to Class 3A with the likes of Purcell, Lone Grove, Dickson, Sulphur and many others.

The change in classification did little to derail the regular season success for the Lady Indians, as they finished outside the top spot just once all season, with it coming in their first tournament of the year.

Plainview kept a stranglehold on the Lake Country Conference title at Falconhead, and then rolled to the regional championship at Lake Murray.

After taking the lead on day one of the state championship at Westwood Park Golf Course in Norman, the Lady Indians never looked back in claiming the 3A state championship.

Reagan Chaney won the individual state title for the Lady Indians, with Adeline Norton and Hallie Schultz also finishing in the top-five, and Lindyn Ross finishing 10th overall, and Carrie Hutchings in 12th.

Norton and Schultz each received All-State honors by the Oklahoma Coaches Association, and will both go on to play college golf this fall at Oklahoma City University and Redlands College, making it three total players under coach Howard who will officially be in college golf programs, joining state champion Katie Finley, who went to Texas A&M University in College Station. 

“When I took the job I was told I was going to have a good group of girls that would be able to compete for a state title,” Howard said. “After our first year then we got going. The caliber of players that are here at Plainview are just incredible, and the parents support them so much, as well as myself. We’ve been able to have as much success as we’ve had because of all the support.”

Howard was also named as the 2019 Girls Golf Coach of the Year at the Best of the Arbuckles Banquet, making her a three-time winner of the award. 

She was also named as the National High School Coaches Association Girls Golf Coach of the Year for 2019, and is a two-time All-American golf player from Oklahoma City University, where she won a national championship in 2013 and finished as a member of the runner-up team in 2010. 

She was also a four-time state qualifier in high school for girls golf at