We were saddened to learn this morning of the passing of former Wyoming Cowboys Head Coach Joe Tiller.

The Big Ten Network reports he passed away at age 74 in his Buffalo, Wyoming home.

Tiller was a vital part of Wyoming football's success in the 1990's and he remained faithful to the Cowboy State, retiring in Buffalo after 9-year run as the coach of Purdue University.

Tiller's first two seasons in 1991 and 1992 at Wyoming finished with losing records, 4-6-1, and 5-7 respectively. After settling in for a couple of years and bringing in many recruits of his own, the Pokes turned things around in 1993 finishing 8-4 overall and tied for first place in the Western Athletic Conference. Joe had three more winning seasons including his best in 1996, leading the Pokes to a 10-2 year.

Here are some of our favorite Coach Tiller moments on the football field.


  • 1

    Edging Colorado State In Fort Collins

    Coach Tiller led the 1996 Wyoming squad to an exciting victory in Fort Collins on a cold November day. The Pokes would edge CSU by a single point, 25-24, keeping their national ranking and re-capturing the Bronze Boot.

  • 2

    Winning At Iowa State In Overtime

    Also from the 1996, 10-2 season. Wyoming went to Ames, Iowa and pulled off a 31-28 victory. Although, the Cyclones ultimately wouldn't have a great '96 season, this OT victory against a major conference team set the tone for the season.

  • 3

    Sweeping Louisville

    In 1995, the Louisville Cardinals had to visit 7,220 feet and struggled. Ultimately, Wyoming was able to upset Louisville 27-20. The Cardinals didn't lose a single game after the trip to Laramie and finished 7-4. In 1992 Wyoming went to Louisville and won 26-24.

  • 4

    7-Game Winning Streak

    In 1993, Wyoming opened the year by losing to Oregon State. After that, it was seven wins in a row. Wyoming beat Northern Iowa, San Jose State, Utah, Air Force, UTEP, Hawaii, and Fresno State. Unfortunately the Pokes lost 3 of their last 4 including a Copper Bowl against Kansas State.

  • 5

    His Recruits

    We round out the list with a reminder of the calibur of recruits that Coach Tiller brought to Laramie. In particular, Biletnikoff Award Winner Marcus Harris. Guard Steve Scifres went in the third round of the NFL draft, and defensive back Lee Vaughn went in the sixth round in 1997.Players like Josh Wallwork, Len Sexton, Marques Brigham, Brian Lee, Jay Jenkins, Cory Wedel, Wendell Montgomery, and many more were thanks to Coach Tiller.

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