There have a been number of coaches that have passed through Pullman as assistants that found big success down the road that you may not even be aware of. Here is a look of 5 such coaches that have Cougar ties. I think you’ll be surprised at some of the names.
1.James Franklin HC Penn State
Franklin was a graduate assistant at WSU under Mike Price in 1998 before later becoming the head coach at both Vanderbilt and Penn State. Franklin has compiled at 38-27 record at the two schools and is considered one of the rising stars in the college coaching ranks.
2.Mike Zimmer HC Minnesota Vikings
Zimmer served on Mike Price’s staff from 1989-1993 as the defensive coordinator. He laid the groundwork for the legendary Palouse Posse defense of 1994. He was then hired away by the Dallas Cowboys as their defensive backs coach. After a 13 year stint as an NFL defensive coordinator he was hired as the Vikings head coach in 2014. He has compiled a 18-14 record in two seasons with one playoff appearance.
3.Stu Jackson Former coach New York Knicks/Vancouver Grizzlies
Jackson was an assistant back in the Len Stevens "era" from 1983-85. He then hooked up with Rick Pitino at Providence College before following Pitino to the Knicks before coaching the team for two seasons and leaving to be the head man at the University of Wisconsin. He then had a one season coaching stint with the Vancover Grizzlies in 1997 while serving as their team president from 1994-2000. In 2000 he was named the Vice President of Basketball Operations for the NBA, a position he held for thirteen years. He is now the associate commissioner of the Big East conference.
4.Kevin Sumlin HC Texas A&M
Sumlin was another member of the Mike Price coaching tree to find success as a head coach. He was a GA under Price from 1989-1990 before catching with Wyoming as a receivers coach. He eventually became the head coach at Houston before making his way to the SEC. He owns a 71-33 overall record and was named SEC coach of the year in 2012.
5.Joe Tiller former HC Purdue
Tiller actually did two stints in Pullman. He was an offensive coordinator in the 70s under Jim Sweeney and then again from 1989-90 under Mike Price. Tiller parlayed that gig into the head job at Wyoming before ending up at Purdue until 2008. He had an overall record of 126-92-1 and was the Big Ten coach of the year in 1997. He is the winningest coach in Purdue history.
What do you guys think? Anyone I left off the list?
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