College Football: Mike Price
It says a lot just to be the eighth-winningest active head coach in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision. But Mike Price is has been much more to so many athletes over his 30 year span as a collegiate head coach.
The 1997 National Coach of the Year, has coached eight teams to bowls, and is still resurrecting program’s such as his current stint with the University of Texas – El Paso.
Born: April 6th, 1946
Place of birth: Denver, Colorado
College: Quarterback, Defensive Back (Washington State)
Position: QB, RB, WR, OC, HC
Overall Coaching Record: 174-174
Bowl Record: 3-4
Playing Career and Early Coaching Years
Price started out as a high school quarterback, but lost his starting spot during his senior season to a pretty well known member of the coaching fraternity–Dennis Erickson. While he lost his job, he still made the best of things and moved over to the defensive side of the ball, and used that to propel him into the college football ranks.
After his college career, he said goodbye to being a player and started his coaching career, as an offensive specialist. His first major college job was back at his alma mater, Washington State, where he was the running backs coach for four years.
He then moved on to Missouri, a place that he coached the quarterbacks and the wide receivers for three years before finally getting his long awaited head coaching job.
It was not the most glamorous job, but it was a start as he took over the reins of the Weber State football team in 1981.
During his tenure he only managed a playoff appearance in one season, and 1987 was the year, as he managed to take the Wildcats all the way to a quarterfinal appearance.
On to Washington State
In 1989, Price finally moved a notch up. Recommended by his former teammate and friend Erickson, he was able to land the head coaching gig at his alma mater Washington State.
His tenure as the Cougars’ coach had its share of ups and downs though, but it was a success by all accounts. He managed six winning seasons, five bowl appearances, and three, 10-win seasons.
In 1997, he led Washington State to its first Rose Bowl in more than sixty years, and for that was also named that season’s National Coach of the Year.
He would later lead Wazzu to another Rose Bowl berth in 2002, but once again fell short of winning the big game.
He has since departed the Cougars, and after an off-the-field incident at Alabama, he landed on his feet at UTEP.
Coach Price, we don’t care you had relations with a stripper, or if you were piss-drunk the night in question.
Without you the Cougars, suck.