Joe Tiller, the winningest coach in Purdue football history, passed away early Saturday morning, according to GoldandBlack.com. He was 74.
Tiller coached at Purdue for 12 seasons and led the Boilermakers to an 87-62 (53-43 Big Ten) overall record, which included a conference championship in 2000 and a Big Ten Coach of the Year award in 1997.
“Today is a very sad day for me and the entire Purdue family,” New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who played for Tiller from 1997 to 2000, told the Boilermakers’ official website. “Coach Tiller was an important person in my life and to so many other guys who played for him. He did so much more than teach us how to win. He taught us life lessons and how to be great leaders and men. My thoughts and prayers are with Arnette, Julie, Renee and Mike.”
Tiller was the first coach to use the spread offense in the Big Ten and his teams annually ranked among the top offenses in the conference. Prior to his hiring in November of 1996, the Boilermakers had only appeared in five total bowl games.
Under Tiller, Purdue appeared in 10 bowl games and featured 64 future NFL players, as well as six All-Americans and two Academic All-Americans.
Tiller had previously coached at Wyoming from 1991-96 and finished his career with a 126-92-1 record. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.