Funeral arrangements are set for the winningest football coach in Purdue University history. Joe Tiller, who served as the head coach of the Boilermakers from 1997-2008, died Saturday in Wyoming. He guided the team to 10 bowl games and amassed an 87-62 record. President Mitch Daniels calls Tiller "one of the great coaches in all of Purdue history." Tiller was 74.
A viewing is scheduled for October 10 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Buffalo, Wyoming and a funeral mass will be held at the same location the next day.
Purdue went to the Rose Bowl in 2001, following a Big Ten Championship in 2000. Drew Brees played quarterback for Tiller from 1997 to 2000 and said "today is a very sad day for me and the entire Purdue family. 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."
Former Purdue Athletics Director Morgan Burke, who hired Tiller as head coach, said "Joe took a chance coming back to Purdue, and all Boilermakers, and me in particular, are grateful. Joe was the best evaluator of talent I have ever seen. His dry wit endeared him to his players, and he knew how to coach and motivate them. I know the Purdue family joins me in expressing our condolences to Arnette and all of his family."
In an interview in 2008, Tiller said "people ask me about my legacy at Purdue, and I guess I see myself as a guy who came in and fit the place, and the place fit him – a man of the people. I’ve always prided myself on being able to get along with anybody, whether they are a major donor or someone who comes to one game a year. I’ve tried to respect everybody, so I would like my legacy to be that I was a good guy who could also coach football."
Joe Tiller Drive, which is just north of Ross-Ade Stadium on the Purdue campus, was named for him in 2015.
You can read more about Tiller by clicking here.