In May, Taylor announced the hiring of new head football coach Aaron Mingo after it was announced that long-time head coach Ron Korfmacher would not be retained after the 2021 spring season. Korfmacher now serves as Director of Church Relations at Taylor.
Previously, Mingo spent five years at Dordt University in Iowa as offensive coordinator, offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. Mingo’s 2021 Dordt offense ranked No. 2 in the NAIA in yards per game with an impressive mark of 532.6 yards per game.
Prior to his time at Dordt, he served in the same role at Bluefield College for three years and as recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach at Greenville University, his alma mater, for four years.
Mingo found success at each stop, and in 2021 Dordt finished the year ranked No. 15 in the country.
Q: You had a lot of success at Dordt University. Why make the transition to Taylor and become head coach?
A: Years ago, when I started thinking about my coaching career I never had seen it as a ladder I was trying to climb to or even a role or position I was trying to ascend to. It was never about becoming a head coach, it was about following God's calling in my life. But, I've always had this yearning inside of me or a connection to Taylor University, which probably stems back to the relationship I have with my college coach at Greenville University who was a Taylor alum. When you ask people about the top Christian colleges in the country, Taylor's name comes up often, and usually near the top of the list, and there's just always been something about this place that stood out to me and I knew this would be a community that I want to be immersed in.
Q: How do you build that faith-based community and foundation in this football program?
A: Whether it’s a recruiting call, whether it’s a coaches’ meeting, whether it’s a players’ meeting or a film session, whatever it may be, we have to make sure we’re keeping God at the center. It’s about His story, not our own. So, with our players, we come back to that over and over and over again, that (football) is for Him, and it should not be for selfish ambition and the scoreboard but should be much greater than that.
Q: Do you have a mission statement for the program? Or some form of guiding vision?
A: Well, I'll tell you a little bit about the vision — the vision of the program is to be the leading Christian college football program in the country. And, if you ask our players, they'll be able to tell you that. I want our program to lead the way for how Christian college football should be done. We want to set the bar for that, and it's gonna look different than what our culture is doing. It's going to be very challenging at times, but we're going to continue to challenge our guys with biblical truth. That's going to be the foundation of what we do. And we're going to get after it on the football field.
Q: What things are you looking for when you’re out recruiting athletes for this program?
A: When you set out to do football in a God-glorified way, there are parts of the program that are certainly a little different than what the norm is in college football. We're also going to be a program that's going to be focused on holistic development, so it's not just the exterior (and) it's not just a physical — we're coaching the heart and we're coaching the mind. We want to find the guys that want to grow their faith, get excited about the things that Taylor has and are excited about the direction the program's going. So, that's first and foremost. The second thing for us is we want to find guys that are elite teammates. Are you going to hold each other accountable, and are you going to sharpen one another? And then as far as the football tangibles and the things on the field, we’ve got to continue to find guys that obviously can help us push the program forward athletically, but they need to show the other things first.
Q: Your offenses at Dordt were successful, particularly on the ground. Is that going to be the focal point here at Taylor?
A: I think in order to be a great offense, you have to be able to run and pass. In today's day and age of college football, in order for you to be an elite offense you can't be one-dimensional. It does begin with the run game for us, and once we do that well it should open up passing opportunities. So right now you know, we're installing the base systems. Our guys are catching on to it really well. I think students and fans can expect to see a fast pace up-tempo offense.
Q: What system will you be running?
A: We’re a pistol, triple-option team. We begin everything with that. We have plays already set up that are in place to take advantage of what defenses have to do to stop the triple option. We'll run some RPOs (run-pass option) with that as well as some play-action, and anything else where we can get guys isolated in space one on one with defenders and create big-play opportunities, that's a big part of what we do. It doesn’t look like a traditional triple option.
Q: There can be some growing pains when teams go through coaching changes in that first season. What are things you need to see this year?
Well, we talked about our program having four pillars. It starts with being a god glorifying program, keeping God at the center of everything that we do. That's where our foundation is set. The second one is holistic development, which means that we're developing our guys in this program in all facets of their entire existence from the inside out. The third one is competitive excellence, meaning that our guys are always striving to be their absolute best, and all things that they do. And the fourth one is Kingdom impact. It means using our football program as the platform that exists as a way that's going to advance God's kingdom and so those are our four pillars of the program. And so what I hope to see this season and to me how I'd sum up if we are having a successful season, is, do we stay true to purpose, do our players understand the purpose of the program, are they bought into the purpose, and do we see tangible evidence of those things existing throughout our football program.