Becoming a Hokie: Taylor Soule’s journey

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 4:19 PM EDT
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DALLAS, Texas (WDBJ) - The family of Virginia Tech forward Taylor Soule has been proud of her since the day they chose to bring her into their lives.

“We kind of just decided between ourselves that natural childbirth was not the way to go but we wanted a family,” said John McDermott, Soule’s father. “We started to work through the adoption process and we got miraculously lucky and adopted Taylor.”

A standout athlete, Soule began her college career with ACC rival Boston College and entered the transfer portal before her fifth year.

“Coach Brooks called Taylor and he started to give her this big spiel, ‘Please. I’ve got this, I can do that for you’,” remembers McDermott. “He talked on for a minute or two and Taylor interrupted and said ‘Coach, I’m perfectly willing to listen to what you have to say, but let me interrupt and just tell you, I’m coming no matter what.’ And he will tell you this himself, he had to sit back for a second and say ‘Okay, this is Taylor’.’’

The journey down to Blacksburg took Soule and the rest of the team on a historic ride to the Final Four.

Her dad remembers the minute they punched their ticket to Dallas with a win over Ohio State.

“Nobody wanted to say it for sure until we knew it was going to happen. And then about two minutes [left] I started choking. I still am. But that’s what happened. I just went crazy,” he recalls. “This will be the moment of my life. Nothing will ever - I don’t care if she wins a WNBA championship or something else - this is the most intense emotional, physical event that I have ever experienced.”

The Hokie team through the years has always had a lot of heart. Turns out all they were missing was a little Soule.

“We have said this among ourselves as parents. The girls actually believe in themselves and their vision of what they can do has turned inward to themselves rather than looking outward and comparing themselves to what’s going on around them, and boy. They are so talented when that self-belief becomes their focus, they’ll pay with anyone.”

After the team’s NCAA Elite 8 win, Soule said she’s found a new home with her new team.

“Everyone keeps saying, ‘Thank you TSoule for coming here.’ Thank them. Thank you for having me, for believing in me, for pushing me. I’m a Hokie. Who would have thought? I’m a Hokie. For life. For life.”