December 7, 1942 |
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Montana State (OL/DL)
Washington State (DL)
Washington State (OC/OL)
Calgary Stampeders (assistant)
Calgary Stampeders (interim HC)
Washington State (AHC/OC/OL)
|Head coaching record|
College Football Data Warehouse
|Accomplishments and honors|
1 WAC (1993)
1 Big Ten (2000)
1 WAC Pacific Division (1996)
Big Ten Coach of the Year (1997)
Joe Tiller (born December 7, 1942) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the University of Wyoming from 1991 to 1996 and Purdue University from 1997 to 2008, compliling a career college football record of 126–92–1. Tiller is known as one of the innovators of the spread offense.
Early life and playing career 
Coaching career 
Tiller began his head coaching career at Wyoming, leading the Cowboys to a 39-30-1 record and one bowl appearance in six years. His best team was the 1996 unit, which notched a 10-2 record, but was left out of a bowl after losing to BYU in the inaugural WAC Championship game—to date, the last team to finish ranked in a major poll and not receive a bowl invitation while still being eligible to go. On the strength of that season, Tiller was hired by Purdue in 1997.
Tiller inherited a program that had only had two winning seasons in the previous 18 years. However, the Boilermakers made an immediate splash in the second game of his rookie season with a nationally-televised upset of Notre Dame. Tiller would go on to lead the Boilermakers to ten bowl berths in twelve years, most notably the 2001 Rose Bowl. Prior to Tiller's arrival in Purdue had played in only five bowl games, most recently the 1984 Peach Bowl. On September 20, 2008, in a game versus Central Michigan, Tiller won his 85th game at Purdue to become the winningest coach in school history, topping the previous mark set by Jack Mollenkopf (1956–1969). Tiller's "basketball on grass" offense was well renowned for its ability to score and score effectively, befuddling opposing defenses. This was especially the case when Drew Brees ran the team from 1997 to 2000. His Purdue squads were shut out only once, by Penn State, in a 12–0 defeat at Ross–Ade Stadium on October 28, 2006.
Tiller retired following the 2008 season and was succeeded by former Eastern Kentucky University head coach Danny Hope. In his final game as a head coach, the Purdue Boilermakers beat their in-state rival Indiana Hoosiers in their traditional season-ending Old Oaken Bucket Game by a score of 62 to 10 at Ross–Ade Stadium.
Tiller was the first coach to use the spread offense in the Big Ten Conference, although many others have since brought their own version of the spread, including Jim Tressel at Ohio State, Randy Walker at Northwestern, Rich Rodriguez at Michigan, and Ron Zook at Illinois. Under Tiller and his spread offense, Purdue annually had one of the top offenses in the Big Ten.
Head coaching record 
|Wyoming Cowboys (Western Athletic Conference) (1991–1996)|
|Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten Conference) (1997–2007)|
|2003||Purdue||9–4||6–2||T–2nd||L Capital One||19||18|
|2006||Purdue||8–6||5–3||T–4th||L Champs Sports|
|2007||Purdue||8–5||3–5||T–7th||W Motor City|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|†Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
- "Sheets’ late TD lifts Purdue, 32-25, Yahoo Sports, September 20, 2008".
- "Purdue has line of succession set up, with Hope to become coach in 2009". ESPN. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
- "Bucket list is complete for a Regular Joe". indy.com. Retrieved 7 July 2011.