Bill Blankenship

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Bill Blankenship
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Tulsa
Conference The American
Record 24–26
Biographical details
Born (1956-12-12) December 12, 1956 (age 57)
Spiro, Oklahoma
Alma mater University of Tulsa
Playing career
1975–1979 Tulsa
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Spiro HS
Edmond Memorial HS
Union HS
Tulsa (WR, RB, ST)
Head coaching record
Overall 24–26
Bowls 1–1
College Football Data Warehouse

Bill Blankenship (born December 12, 1956) is an American football coach and former player. On January 14, 2011, he became the new head coach of the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane.[1] Before entering the college ranks, Blankenship was a successful high school coach for over 20 years and was named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Blankenship played for the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane beginning in 1975 and served two stints as starting quarterback, 1977 and 1979.[2] While there, Blankenship played in the 1976 Independence Bowl.

Coaching career[edit]

Blankenship's high school coaching career included stints at Edmond Memorial High School, Spiro High School, Sapulpa High School, and Eastwood Christian School.[2]

Union High School[edit]

Blankenship served as the coach of Tulsa's Union High School for 14 years until 2005. There he compiled an overall 154-26 record. During his tenure, Union won eight consecutive district championships, qualified for the playoffs fourteen times, reached the quarterfinals ten times, participated in the state Class 6A championship seven times, and won the state title in 2002, 2004, and 2005. Union also amassed an unbroken home winning streak of 56 straight wins between the years 1997 and 2005.[2]

University of Tulsa[edit]

In 2005 Blankenship decided that he wanted to pursue seriously his goal of coaching at the college level. Days after winning his third state title in four years, he resigned as Union's head coach (and, later, as its athletic director). At the time, Blankenship said that he was resigning, in part, because otherwise potential employers would not believe he would be willing to leave his successful position at Union.[3] He spent the following year out of coaching,[4] and then accepted Tulsa Golden Hurricane head coach Todd Graham's offer to become receivers coach at Tulsa.[5] After the 2010 season, Graham left Tulsa to become the head coach at Pitt. After a brief search, Blankenship was named Tulsa's new head coach on January 14, 2011.[1]

2011 Season[edit]

Bill Blankenship's first season as Tulsa's head coach started out rough. Tulsa had 3 top-10 opponents in the first 4 weeks of the season.


  • Tulsa started out with a game at Oklahoma in Norman and lost 47-17.
  • Tulsa had one in-conference opponent week 2, with a game at Tulane, and won 31-3. In the Tulane game, there was evidence of a solid defense (Fewest points allowed by Tulsa in a C-USA game since Steve Kragthorpe was head coach) and flashes of offensive potential.
  • Tulsa then played #5 Oklahoma State at home in a game which was delayed until midnight due to weather. Tulsa QB GJ Kinne was injured early in the 1st quarter by a late hit out of bounds. He did not return. Tulsa's offense fought through and piled up 365 yards rushing and 482 total yards and 33 points [6] but still lost.
  • TU then traveled to Boise State for a match-up with #7 Boise State. With GJ Kinne hampered by injury, TU lost 41-21.

October was a new month for Tulsa. TU began a winning streak which would extend through October to late in the season.

  • TU began with North Texas on October 1, the final out-of-conference game of 2011. TU led 41-3 in the 3rd quarter before pulling the starters. Against Tulsa's back-ups, UNT scored 21 late points.[7]
  • On October 15, TU hosted UAB. TU's defense was shaky and allowed 20 first half points, but Tulsa led 24-20 at the half. TU pulled away, holding UAB scoreless in the second half and winning 37-20.
  • On October 22, TU traveled to Houston to play Rice. TU's offense got off to a quick start, scoring 17 1st quarter points due to 3 turnovers forced by Tulsa's opportunistic defense.[8]
  • On October 29, 2011, Tulsa's first year head coach Bill Blankenship faced the toughest C-USA opponent to date and the team picked to finish 3rd in C-USA West (behind Houston and Tulsa) in the pre-season media poll.[9] However, SMU had exceeded preseason expectations at 5-2 after upsetting rival #19 TCU and falling only to Texas A&M and Southern Miss (who was 6-1 at the time).[10] Furthermore, Tulsa had struggled against SMU under previous head coach Todd Graham, losing 2 straight and barely winning by an average of 6 points against two 1-11 teams in 2007 and 2008.[11] Nevertheless, Tulsa prevailed with a dominant performance. TU scored quickly and got out to a 24-0 lead at half time thanks to 3 interceptions by CB Milton Howell and two rushing touchdowns by short-yardage specialist HB Alex Singleton.[12] TU won 38-7, allowing only 1 score to one of the top offenses in the country and scoring 38 points against one of the top defenses in the country.[10]


  • Head Coach Bill Blankenship was entering his second toughest month of the year (after September) with a tough road game at Central Florida where Tulsa had struggled under previous head coach Todd Graham, losing two straight. As reported by "UCF defense ranks in the top-six in the FBS for rushing, passing, passing efficiency, scoring and total defense".[13] After trailing 14-13 at the half, TU prevailed 24-17, running out over 5 minutes of clock at the end of the game, denying UCF the opportunity to score. Tulsa gained 251 yards rushing, more than UCF had allowed all season at home (4 games). TU's 24 points also exceeded the total points UCF allowed at home all season [14]
  • Tulsa headed home to host Marshall, one of the better teams in C-USA East division (eventually finished near top of East).[15] Tulsa had struggled against Marshall under previous head coach Todd Graham, barely winning 38-31 against 3-9 UM in 2007 and 38-35 against 4-8 UM in 2008.[16] This game had no such drama as Tulsa led 42-3 at the half and won its 11th straight C-USA game with a 59-17 win over Marshall.[17]
  • Next, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane traveled to El Paso to match up with the UTEP Miners in the Sun Bowl. Tulsa had struggled against UTEP under previous head coach Todd Graham, and had not won in El Paso since 2003. Under Graham, Tulsa had lost its previous two games in El Paso by 5 points total against two UTEP teams which finished 4-8.[18] This time, there was no doubt after Tulsa led 50-15 in the 3rd quarter as TU won 57-28. TU's defense struggled early, giving up 15 points in the first half, but shut down UTEP for the pivotal 3rd quarter in which Tulsa seized control.[19] Two scores by UTEP late in the 4th quarter allowed UTEP to be the first C-USA team to score more than 20 points against TU.[20]
  • Finally, the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane had an opportunity to accomplish one of the goals set long before the season started: Win the C-USA Western Division Title and play the C-USA Championship game. The task was not easy. Undefeated #8 Houston Cougars (11-0, 7-0 in C-USA) were coming to Tulsa to face off against Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-3, 7-0 in C-USA). The winner was guaranteed to host the C-USA Championship game against the C-USA Eastern Division Title [21]

Personal life[edit]

Bill and Angie Blankenship are the parents of three sons: Josh, Caleb and Adam, all of whom played football in high school and college. Josh Blankenship played quarterback at Tulsa before transferring to Eastern Washington,[22] where he was a second team Division I-AA All-American.[23] He later played arena football, including three years as quarterback of the Tulsa Talons; after working as an assistant coach at Union and elsewhere, in December 2010 he was named head coach at Muskogee High School.[24] Adam Blankenship played at Nebraska and Illinois State, was an assistant coach at Union, and in 2011 joined his father's new coaching staff at Tulsa.[25]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (Conference USA) (2011–2013)
2011 Tulsa 8–5 7–1 2nd (West) L Armed Forces
2012 Tulsa 11–3 7–1 1st (West) W Liberty
2013 Tulsa 3–9 2–6 6th (West)
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (American Athletic Conference) (2014–present)
2014 Tulsa 2–9 2–5
Tulsa: 24–26 18–13
Total: 24–26
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  • Merv Johnson Integrity in College Coaching Award, Oklahoma Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame (2008).
  • Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee, 2009.


  1. ^ a b Eric Bailey, "Bill Blankenship named new Tulsa football coach", Tulsa World, January 14, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bill Blankenship to be Head Coach at University of Tulsa", GTR Newspapers, January 14, 2011.
  3. ^ Barry Lewis, "Blankenship resigns as Union coach", Tulsa World, December 6, 2005.
  4. ^ Bill Haisten, "His search continues: Bill Blankenship still hasn't found the college job he wants", Tulsa World, May 30, 2006.
  5. ^ David Jones, "Former Union Coach Bill Blankenship Enjoying Transition", GTR Newspapers, October 3, 2007.
  6. ^ - 2011 Tulsa Golden Hurricane Total Offense Game Log
  7. ^ Hurricane Blows Past Mean Green, 41-24 - Kinne completed 20-31 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns - The University of Tulsa Official Athletic Site
  8. ^ Tulsa Steams Rice 38-20 - Hurricane moves to 4-3 overall and 3-0 in league play - The University of Tulsa Official Athletic Site
  9. ^ Tulsa Football Picked Second in C-USA Preseason Media Poll - Houston and UCF picked first in their respective divisions - The University of Tulsa Official Athletic Site
  10. ^ a b - 2011 SMU Mustangs
  11. ^ Southern Methodist Game by Game Results
  12. ^ Tulsa Corrals Mustangs, 38-7 - Golden Hurricane forces five turnovers in win, improves to 4-0 in C-USA play - The University of Tulsa Official Athletic Site
  13. ^ TULSA-UCF BATTLE IN C-USA MIDWEEK WEST Vs. EAST CLASH - Hurricane faces challenge in third C-USA road game tonight - The University of Tulsa Official Athletic Site
  14. ^ Tulsa Postgame Notes vs. UCF - TU became bowl eligible Thursday with a 24-17 victory over UCF - The University of Tulsa Official Athletic Site
  15. ^ NCAA Football Standings - Conference USA College Football Season Standings | FOX Sports on MSN
  16. ^ Marshall Game by Game Results
  17. ^ Tulsa Romps Past Marshall, 59-17 - Kinne threw for 302 yards, and Douglas and Watts combined for 338 rushing yards as TU compiled 682 total yards - The University of Tulsa Off...
  18. ^ Texas-El Paso Game by Game Results
  19. ^ Tulsa Takes Out Miners 57-28 - Hurricane win sets up showdown against No. 10 Houston on Friday - The University of Tulsa Official Athletic Site
  20. ^ Tulsa Postgame Notes vs. UTEP - The Golden Hurricane routed the Miners 57-28 Saturday afternoon in El Paso. - The University of Tulsa Official Athletic Site
  21. ^ FOOTBALL SHOWDOWN IN T-TOWN FRIDAY - Tickets still available for Tulsa-Houston football game - The University of Tulsa Official Athletic Site
  22. ^ Dave Sittler, "Promotion completes healing process for Bill Blankenship", Tulsa World, January 15, 2011.
  23. ^ "100 for 100" All-Time Team -- Quarterbacks at Eastern Washington University official website (accessed January 22, 2011).
  24. ^ Barry Lewis, "Muskogee hires Josh Blankenship as head coach", Tulsa World, December 24, 2010.
  25. ^ Eric Bailey, "TU completes hiring football coaching staff", Tulsa World, January 22, 2011.

External links[edit]