Dr. William L. Taylor, Jr. B.S., M.A., Ed. D.,
and GBU certified addiction staff.
Billy Taylor was born in Hoxie, Arkansas. The youngest of seven children, Dr. Taylor had three brothers and three sisters. He spent his early years in Memphis, TN but in 1954 when Billy was five years old, his father passed away. His mother, Mariah Marie Taylor, moved the family to Barberton, Ohio, where Billy spent the rest of his childhood excelling in sports and in the classroom.
The two big football powerhouses, Ohio State and Michigan, competed for his talent during his senior year. His decision to attend the University of Michigan set the stage for his future academic and athletic achievements.
Dr. Taylor remains a Legend at the University of Michigan today. His achievements include:
On August 17, 1997, Billy Taylor had his last drink. An experience with God on the desperate streets of Detroit directed Taylor to reclaim his life. As he ascended into a more productive lifestyle, he acknowledged his educational achievements to date and set out to pursue his doctorate degree. In May 2003, Dr. William L. Taylor, Jr. accepted his Ed. D. from the University of Nevada - Las Vegas. He has held several positions at the Community College of Southern Nevada, the fifth largest community college in the world, including Athletic Compliance Officer, Academic Advisor Interim Director of Retention and faculty member in the Department of English.
Today, Dr. Taylor has the experience to share and a passion to assist young adults, students and student-athletes understand and manage their transitions and choices in the world of academics, intercollegiate sports, and life planning. Dr. Taylor was the Director Rehabilitation Services for the Salvation Army of Southeast Michigan from 2006 until August of 2008 working in Detroit and Pontiac, Michigan. Currently, Dr. Taylor is the founder, President, and CEO of Get Back Up, Inc. (GBU).
Three-time All-American Running Back: 1969, 1970, 1971
All-Big Ten First Team: 1969, 1970, 1971
All Time U of M Record Holder: Average Rushing Yards per Game: 102 yards
Taylor broke Michigan's career rushing record in three seasons. His 587 attempts were more than any previous Wolverine runner. He finished second to Tom Harmon in career touchdowns with 32 and in points with 194.
Taylor was tapped as Michigan's Most Valuable Player in 1971. Taylor was drafted in the 5th round, 5th pick by the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. He also played in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders.
Billy Taylor's story continues with the critically acclaimed book and film:
On January 4, 1971, only three days after his final game as a Wolverine playing Stanford in the Rose Bowl- Dr. Billy Taylor's life was again confronted with tragedy. Billy Taylor's beautiful and loving mother died suddenly, that day. Over the next 6 months, loss tore at the fabric of his reality. His favorite uncle murdered his aunt and then took his own life. His girlfriend Valerie was stabbed to death in Detroit. Then, his NFL career was limited by a series of knee injuries. These events started a long downward spiral of depression, drinking, drugs, and encounters with the law.
Life continues... Dr. Taylor battled with depression but continued to live, work, and pish forward. He completed a Master's Degree in Education, secured a job with General Motors, married and had three wonderful children. Eventually, the depression pushed too hard, and Dr. Taylor started to slide into alcoholism. That slide landed him on the streets and ultimately led to his divorce.