Pair of newlyweds find success in marriage and volleyball at Mizzou

Joshua and Molly Taylor are learning how to work together as both coaches and newlyweds, with a little help from veteran coaching couple Wayne and Susan Kreklow.

Courtesy of Mizzou Athletics

Missouri volleyball head coach Wayne and assistant coach Susan Kreklow are no strangers to partnership. They have been working to build a successful volleyball program at Mizzou since the 2000 season and previously coached together at Columbia College from 1994-99. The veteran couple has taken the Tigers to new heights over their almost two-decade run at Mizzou.

The secret to their success? Working together as a married team.

“We’ve been doing this a long time,” Wayne said. “We are comfortable working together and have developed a really solid system. We know our roles and what we each do best.”

While the over 20-year couple figured out its own key to success, the newest additions to the MU volleyball coaching family, Joshua and Molly Taylor, are diving into their first year not only as coaches but as husband and wife.

Married this past winter, Joshua and Molly Taylor share a love for volleyball, and it’s that passion for the sport that led them to each other.

“Molly was training for the women's national team and I was training for the men's national team in California,” Joshua Taylor said. “We just happened to meet there and 11 months later, I proposed.”

Since playing for the men’s and women's national teams, the two have made their way to Columbia to start their new life and to begin new jobs as assistant coaches with the Tigers.

Molly, a Minnesota native, is familiar with the program as a Missouri volleyball alumna while Joshua is from Honolulu, Hawaii, and spent his collegiate career at Pepperdine University.

Last fall, the two served as team members on the coaching staff for the program but unexpectedly stayed in Columbia, Missouri, after receiving the full-time coaching positions.

“We did not plan this at all, but we were team members for a couple of months last fall,” Joshua said. “Wayne suggested that we apply for the full-time position, and we ended up getting it.”

Since then, the two have been working with the rest of the staff to prepare and guide Missouri volleyball during the 2017 season.

Spending large amounts of time together on and off the court, the newlyweds are learning to separate work from home life.

“We do a good job of leaving work at work even though we both love volleyball,” Joshua said. “Sometimes we just need a break, so we will spend time together doing an activity and not talk about volleyball.”

Joshua has previous experience with coaching, serving as a grad assistant to the MU program and assisting the Tigers as a lead instructor for individual and positional summer camps in 2016. While coaching alongside one another, the Taylors view the sport as a way to stay connected to each other.

“Just seeing how well Molly interacts with the girls is a really rewarding part of coaching together,” Joshua said. “Being able to see each other in our element gives us a chance to connect deeper.”

Just a few months into marriage and new jobs at Missouri, the two still have a lot to learn about being together in the industry. To help mentor the young couple, the Kreklows had advice for the newlyweds that has helped them develop a mature relationship over the years.

“You have to be willing to compromise and understand you won't always get what you want and go into it with no ego,” Wayne Kreklow said. “You have to understand that you are now a team. This job has a ton of highs and lows, so it’s good to have someone to experience this with and that understands you.”

The Tigers are currently in the middle of their 2017 campaign, and so far married and coaching life seems to be treating the Taylors well.

“It is just awesome,” Joshua said. “Molly is my best friend and being with her all day is so special to me. Seeing her in her element makes me fall more in love with her every day.”

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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