Wade Wilson (American football)

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Wade Wilson
No. 11, 18
Personal information
Born: (1959-02-01) February 1, 1959 (age 59)
Greenville, Texas
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:Commerce (TX)
College:East Texas State
NFL Draft:1981 / Round: 8 / Pick: 210
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
as coach
Career NFL statistics
Passing yards:17,283
Passer rating:75.6
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Charles Wade Wilson (born February 1, 1959) is an American football coach and former quarterback who played for the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders in a seventeen-year career from 1981 to 1998 in the National Football League (NFL). He was quarterbacks coach for the Dallas Cowboys from 2000 to 2002 and from 2007 to 2017 and the Chicago Bears from 2004 to 2006.[1] He played college football for Texas A&M University-Commerce (formerly East Texas State University), where he was an NAIA All-American Quarterback and led the Lions to the NAIA national semifinals during the 1980 season.

Early years[edit]

Wilson was born in Greenville, Texas and lived there shortly, but moved to Commerce, Texas, where he spent most of his childhood. The son of a Coach, Wilson became a standout quarterback and punter at Commerce High School. As a senior, he led the Tigers to a 10-win season and a district championship during his Senior season. He graduated from Commerce High School in 1977.

College career[edit]

Freshman Year[edit]

Wilson accepted a football scholarship offer from Texas A&M University-Commerce (then East Texas State University). His Freshman year in 1977 he backed up Lion All-American Quarterback Terry Skinner.

Sophomore Year[edit]

Wilson became the starting quarterback for the 1978 season. He completed 69 of 158 pass attempts threw for 770 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Lions finished 4th in Lone Star Conference play with a 4-7 overall record.

Junior Year[edit]

Wilson's second year as a starter saw dramatic improvement as he completed 150 of 279 pass attempts for 1,826 yards and 10 touchdown passes. The Lions finished the season 5-5, including a 5-2 conference record to finish as LSC runner-up. He was named First Team All-Lone Star Conference and also an NAIA All-American.

Senior Year[edit]

As a senior in 1980, Wilson completed 116 of 227 passes for 1,978 yards and 19 touchdowns, while the Lions finished tied for first with Angelo State among NAIA schools in the Lone Star Conference. The Lions were selected for the NAIA national playoffs as the 8th ranked team in the country. Wilson and the Lions upset at top ranked Central Arkansas University Bears team in the national quarterfinals, but bowed out to Elon College, the eventual national champion, in the semifinal round. The Lions finished 6th in the country and Wilson was first team All-LSC and First Team NAIA All-American. Wilson graduated in 1981 with a degree in Business Management. He finished his college career with 4,616 passing yards, 32 touchdowns and an 18-14-1 record as a starter.

Professional career[edit]

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

Wilson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the eighth round (210th overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft.

He was mostly the backup to quarterback Tommy Kramer until 1987, when Kramer started 5 games and Wilson 7 contests, including the playoffs, where the Vikings advanced to the NFC Championship Game after a tremendous upset of the 13-2 San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round, finally succumbing 17-10 to the eventual Super Bowl XXII champion Washington Redskins.

In 1988, he had a Pro Bowl season, completing 204 of 332 for 2,746 yards, 15 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.

In 1990 and 1991, he shared the quarterback starting position with Rich Gannon. He was released on July 8, 1992.[2] He finished his Vikings career completing 1,391 passes on 2,428 attempts for 17,283 yards, 99 touchdowns and 102 interceptions.

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

On July 13, 1992, he was signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Falcons.[3] He appeared in 9 games and started the last three in place of an injured Chris Miller, while completing 80 of 114 for 1,1040 yards, 13 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

New Orleans Saints[edit]

On April 12, 1993, he signed with the New Orleans Saints, who proceeded to cut former starter Bobby Hebert.[4] He earned the starter job over Steve Walsh and although he directed the Saints to a 5-0 winning streak, the team only won three more games to finish at 8-8, which would be Wilson's last season as a starter. On March 17, 1994, the team traded a seventh round draft choice in exchange for Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jim Everett and waived Wilson.[5] Wilson was later re-signed and appeared in 4 games.

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

On May 22, 1995, he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys to be the backup quarterback to Troy Aikman.[6] He was a part of the Super Bowl XXX winning team. He only started one game during his three seasons with the Cowboys, when the team played its backups in the 1996 season finale against the Washington Redskins, a 10-37 loss.

Oakland Raiders[edit]

On July 6, 1998, he signed with the Oakland Raiders to be the third-string quarterback, although he was later named the backup and even started 3 games in place of Jeff George during the season.[7] In 1999, the Oakland Raiders signed Rich Gannon and Wilson became the third-string quarterback.[8] He retired at the age of 40 in 2000.[9]

Coaching career[edit]

Wilson was the Dallas Cowboys quarterback coach from 2000-02. He then became the Chicago Bears quarterback coach from 2004 until 2006, while reaching Super Bowl XLI. On February 22, 2007, he re-signed with the Cowboys.[10]

On September 1, 2007, Wilson was suspended five games and fined $100,000 for purchasing and using performance-enhancing drugs.[11] In his defense, Wilson has said that the drug (HGH) was used to help his problem with diabetes. However, Commissioner Goodell seemed to sidestep this defense saying, "First of all, I'm not going to get into the personal situations of why Wade was taking it, but that's not an accurate point."[12]

The Cowboys decided to part ways with Wilson following the 2017 season.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Wilson has four children, Travis Wade, Hayden, and twins Coleton and Sophie.


  1. ^ "Cowboys fire two veteran assistant coaches". ProFootballTalk. January 3, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  2. ^ "Wade Wilson Released By Rebuilding Vikings". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "Wilson Joins Falcons". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "New Orleans Passes On Hebert, Brings In Wilson". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  5. ^ "Rams unload Everett to New Orleans". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  6. ^ "Dallas Signs Wade Wilson As Backup Quarterback". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  7. ^ "Wilson Signs Deal With The Raiders". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  8. ^ "Raiders Sign Gannon As Starter". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  9. ^ "History: Players Who've Played in NFL at Age 40 or Older". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  10. ^ "Chicago - Chicago : News : Politics : Things To Do : Sports". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on March 6, 2007.
  11. ^ "ESPN - Dallas assistant wants Goodell to explain Belichick's punishment - NFL". Sports.espn.go.com. September 14, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  12. ^ "Goodell says Wilson's punishment is justified | Dallas Cowboys News | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News". Dallasnews.com. September 17, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  13. ^ Drummond, K.D. (January 3, 2018). "Cowboys not bringing back QB coach Wade Wilson or secondary coach Joe Baker". USA Today. Retrieved December 16, 2018.

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