- "There's not a person in the world that could do this except for you. This is what you do. I've seen you do it with my own eyes. I believe in you. I believe in you with every cell of my being."
- -Tami Taylor, Eyes Wide Open
Tami Taylor is the wife of former Dillon Panthers head coach and current East Dillon Lions head coach Eric Taylor. A former guidance counselor and principal of Dillon High credited with bringing about increased academic funding for the high school, she is now head of the counseling program at East Dillon High.
With the promotion of her husband to head coach at Dillon High, Tami and her family were included in the "social elite" of Dillon. Not content with being a trophy wife and attending "book clubs", Tami decided to return to work and accepted the guidance counselor position at the school, prompting her husband to ask, "My high school?" to which Tami sarcastically responded, "I wasn't aware that you bought it but, yeah." As guidance counselor, Tami dealt with student problems from academic ineligibility to the insecurities of a rally girl and her "responsibilities" to her Panther. Through it all, Tami remained a devoted wife and mother. She is also her husband's sounding board for difficult decisions; and as the team marched toward state, she is the anchor and stabilizer of the team's anchor and stabilizer.
With the state championship game fast approaching, Tami received news that she is expecting. This brought up a serious question for her and her husband, as they had to reconsider separating their family as they had originally decided.
As the baby gets closer and closer to being due, Eric's absence took an increasing toll on Tami, who got little help from adrift daughter Julie. After the birth of Gracie Belle, Eric decided to resign from his position at TMU and return to Dillon. With their family together again, Tami looked towards returning to work, but had issues with separation from Gracie Belle. This led to an overextended visit from her sister, Shelley.
3 weeks before the playoffs began, Tami's ex-boyfriend Mo McArnold arrived in Dillon for real estate business and a hospital opening. This led to a drunken stand-off between Eric and Mo over some bad history, with Eric justifying to Julie as, "I was defending your momma's honor."
Tami began the 2008-2009 school year as principal of Dillon High. She was immediately bombarded with budgeting issues, issues that extend throughout the school year. She did an admirable job changing the "football first" attitude at Dillon, much to the chagrin of the boosters and Buddy Garrity, but earned the respect of her colleagues, even earning Dillon High recognition as a "National Blue Ribbon School." Tami was also an integral part of Tyra Collette's acceptance into UT as well as rectifying the division between Buddy and his daughter Lyla and helping her attend Vanderbilt.
Upset with the boosters for shelling out money for a gratuitous Jumbo-Tron when school facilities need desperate financial help, Tami redirects the funds for the Jumbo-Tron to the library. This does not go over well the boosters or Mayor Rodell.
Tami is forced to redistrict the students of Dillon to their proper schools, including star Panthers running back Luke Cafferty after it is discovered that he had been using a phony address to attend West Dillon High. This makes her extremely unpopular with Panthers fans, as it is perceived that she gave Eric a gift over at East Dillon. She is asked by Tim Riggins to counsel Becky Sproles when Becky gets pregnant. This leads to Luke Cafferty's mom becoming infuriated when Becky chooses to get an abortion and ends up getting Tami to resign as West Dillon principal to become East Dillon couneslor.
Season 5 Edit
Tami becomes the counselor for East Dillon High. At first, she is not well-received by her co-workers as they see her as pushy. However, she begins to make connections with her peers. She learns of a troublemaker named Epyck Sanders and seeks to turn her life around, just as she did with Tyra. However, Epyck constantly gets into trouble, lies to Tami repeatedly, and accidentally slams Tami's head against a window. Epyck is arrested and transfered to Kilroy, leaving Tami distraught. Eric comforts her, saying that "You did all you could for her", subtly implying that you can't help a person who doesn't want to be helped. Tami gets an interview with Braemore College in Philadelphia for assistant Dean of Admissions, the Head Dean disagrees with her Philosophies, but the College loves her and fires him and want her to take his place as the Head Dean. This leads to conflict with Eric who wants to stay in Texas to coach the new Panthers super team. Tami decides to give up her dream for Eric, but Eric returns the favor and tells Tami that he turned down the offer to coach the Panthers. 8 months after East Dillon wins State, Tami is seen at Braemore College and is speaking with a few students, and then shows up after Eric's practice and walks off the field with him as the final lights shut off.
Tami Taylor prides herself on her ability to listen and connect to the children she works with. What she has done both as a principal and counselor is a testament to her amazing compassion and open-heartedness. She occasionally makes emotionally impulsive decisions, but is always first to admit her mistakes. Tami often acts as a sounding board for her husband and provides an ear and thoughtful advice for many of the young women in Dillon, especially Tyra, Lyla, and her daughter Julie.
Tami was very close with JD's mother, who helped her out with hosting the annual BBQ and giving her advice on her Jumbo-Tron dilemma. Their friendship ended when Tami called Child Protective Services on the McCoy's after a fight with JD and his father.
Tami is married to Eric. They have a strong relationship, and while they get into fights, they always find a way to resolved them. It is stated they married in their early twenties, and that he was the reason that she got back on track in school.
She did not approve of her daughter's friendship with the rebellious, older Tyra Collette at first, but began to accept it when she felt guilty for treating Tyra so badly. Tami also became a surprise mentor to Tyra, giving her confidence to succeed in life and go on to college.
As for her daughter's relationship with Matt Saracen, Tami was a lot more reasonable than her better half, who coaches Saracen (the quarterback) on the field. But she, too, expressed great disapproval at the thought of her daughter starting a sexual relationship so young.
Both mother and daughter struggled to deal with each other when Gracie was born, as Julie didn't want anything to do with her new baby sister or help her mother out.
The newest addition to the Taylor family, Gracie Belle was born in summer 2007.
"His and hers closets, baby." (S1: Pilot)
"Watch the curb... Whoever you are!" (S:10 It's Different For Girls)
"But seriously y'all. Eric Taylor is a kind and decent man. And he's strong, he has vision, and he's passionate. And he's real good at imparting that passion into the hearts of the people around him. And he loves y'all kids. Every single one of y'all. I just wanted to tell you how much y'all have touched us. How important y'all are to us. How much we care about you. So thank you, from our whole family, thank you." (S1: Best Laid Plans)
"There's no weakness in forgiveness."
"You're going to win, or you're going to lose. Either way, the sun's going to come up tomorrow."
"It's my turn babe. I have loved you and you have loved me and we have compromised, both of us...for your job. And now it's time to talk about doing that for my job." (S13: Always)
Everyday Tami Edit
"Come on, y'all."