Former Pittsburg standout Taylor Muff to transfer, play basketball for Lane Lord at UTRGV
Muff has played volleyball the last four years at the University of Northern Colorado.
PITTSBURG, Kan. – A pair of old Pittsburg friends will reunite this summer at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – with former Pittsburg High School standout Taylor Muff joining former Pitt State women’s head coach Lane Lord to finish out her collegiate career playing basketball in Edinburg, Texas.
“I’ve always had such a special place in my heart for coach Lord. He’s just a great guy. He’s hilarious,” Muff says of Lord, “You can tell he really cares about his players. My oldest sister, Alex, got to play her 5th year of basketball for him and had a great experience. Logan (Lord) was my best friend in high school. We’re going to get to spend some time together, so I’m excited about it.”
Lord was the women’s head coach at Pittsburg State at the same time Taylor’s father, Kevin, was the men’s head coach for the Gorillas – while their daughters graduated from Pittsburg High School at the same time.
“We’ve been family friends with coach Muff and his wife for a long time,” Lord says, “Taylor played all four years in high school with my daughter. I’ve been trying to get her dad down here to visit for the last couple years. Now he has a reason to get down here.”
“Coach Lord is pretty high energy, and my dad is a pretty solemn dude,” Taylor says with a laugh, “They balance each other out pretty well and they get along really well. Our families are pretty close and we’re excited to have that connection again. ”
Muff has played volleyball for four years at the University of Northern Colorado.
This year as a senior, she led the Bears with 244 kills in 19 matches. She was also second on the team with 201 digs. Muff helped Northern Colorado claim the Big Sky Conference championship in 2019.
“I could not have asked for a better four years. Between the coaching staff and my teammates, this place is incredible,” Muff says of Northern Colorado, “Getting to win a championship was a huge success for me and the team. I made such great friends here. This place is awesome…It couldn’t have been better.”
Muff was a three-sport standout at Pittsburg High School. She was a multiple time state champion in track, and was an All-State selection in volleyball and basketball.
“We all knew watching her in high school that she was going to be a Division I athlete in whichever sport she chose,” Lord says of Muff, “You saw what she did in track, volleyball and basketball. Her athleticism has only improved, and she was already one of the best athletes in Kansas when she graduated high school.”
Now, after four years of college volleyball, she’ll have to flip the switch and get back in the basketball mindset.
“I am a little nervous. Last time I played a legitimate basketball game was my senior year of high school,” Muff says on making the switch from one Division I sport to another, “I definitely missed basketball. There’s always been a special place in my heart for the sport. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the gym, actually. I’ve been trying to get as much practice as I can. I think I can get there in a few short months, but it’s going to be a little work. I’ll be heading down there in June, so hopefully I can get some one-on-one work with coach Lord.”
“We expect her to come in and play right away,” Lord says, “She’s a competitor, and her athleticism is off the charts. She can play the two through five positions, really. She can shoot the three and she can handle the basketball, but she’s also tough enough to play inside against some of the 6-4 and 6-5 players we play against. Skill-wise, she’s going to be fine, and by the time we get to October I think she’ll be one of the best players in the WAC.”
Muff will graduate from Northern Colorado in May, before heading to Texas in June to begin preparing for the basketball season, and working toward her masters degree in Kinesiology.
Both Taylor and coach Lord are excited to reunite – and get to work.
“It’s going to be all basketball for her this summer, and I don’t think she’ll miss a beat,” Lord says of Muff, “I’ve always said we’re always going to have someone from Kansas on our roster. That’s our roots. It’s awesome to have Taylor come down here and continue that tradition.”
“I just want to bring what I’ve learned here at Northern Colorado to another program,” Muff finishes, “Hopefully I can make a difference.”