Local Boy Makes Good
Traylor got his coaching start in his hometown in east Texas After several high school coaching jobs he was hired as Gilmer High School’s head coach in 2000. In 2014 Gilmer renamed its stadium after Traylor, in honor of the winningest football coach in school history.
He finished his 15 seasons there with a 175-26 record and three state championships including two undefeated seasons. He spent time as the high school’s athletic director before leaving to coach college football in 2015.
Many consider Traylor a Texas high school coaching legend.
Now he’s the University of Arkansas Associate Head Coach under Chad Morris. Where he works primarily with the team’s running backs and is one of the program’s primary recruiters.
His son Jordan also works with Arkansas, as an offensive analyst.
Quickly Becoming a Locker Room Favorite
Before he was with the Razorbacks he coached for Southern-Methodist as the team’s running backs coach. When Chad Morris left for Arkansas in 2017 Traylor was promoted to interim head coach. He coached the Mustangs in the first ever Frisco Bowl that same year.
While he only coached for one bowl game, he was extremely popular in the Mustangs locker room. At least 15 SMU players used Twitter to plead the case for Traylor to stay on board as head coach. The hashtag #JeffTraylorForHeadCoach surfaced as one of the social media site’s popular trends.
This was only Traylor’s first year with the program.
He coached tight ends and receivers at the University of Texas from 2015 to 2016. In his last season with the Longhorns the offense averaged 491.3 yards per game, good for No. 16 in the nation.
Still Popular in East Texas
He served as one of head coach Charlie Strong’s key recruiters, using his reputation in East Texas to his advantage.
Traylor recruited two of his former high school players again while at Texas, cornerback Kris Boyd and linebacker Demarco Boyd.
Traylor was instrumental in securing a number of blue-chip Longhorn recruits. He was given credit for committing All-American punter Michael Dickson who was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017.
He secured three 4-star prospects for Texas, including wideout Devin Duvernay the No.3 ranked wide receiver in the entire 2016 class. Traylor convinced him to choose Texas over the likes of Alabama, Ohio State, and Clemson.
Arkansas’ move to hire Traylor in 2018 was considered a huge win for the school’s presence among recruits in East Texas.
Traylor and Morris, also an East Texas native are just starting to realize success in the region. They’ve already two sought-after Texas recruits in defensive tackle Carl Williams and wide receiver TQ Jackson.
Traylor, a former walk-on at Stephen F. Austin is only in his third year as a college football coach, but he already has an expansive body of work under his belt and head coaching experience.
Before leaving SMU he held high standing in the team’s locker room with players publically lobbying for the school to hire him as the full-time head coach, even though he’d been there less than a year.
Now he’ll hope to do the same for a rebuilding Arkansas team, which has yet to win a game in 2018 and will no doubt be looking for plenty of hidden talent as it carries out the team motto of hammering down.