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Northwest Coach Profiles: Rick Neuheisel

NCAA Football: Rick Neuheisel

Born; February 7th, 1961
Place: Madison Wisconsin
Position: QB (UCLA, San Antonio Gunslingers, San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
Head Coach: Colorado, UW Huskies, UCLA

The former Head Coach of three current Pac 12 teams.

Rick Neuheisel was one of the most high profile coach signings for the University of Washington football program since the departure of the great Don James. But often, the price of a high profile coach also comes with high profile baggage, and Neuheisel didn’t disappoint Seattle in that aspect at all.

Playing Career

Rick Neuheisel, a walk on at UCLA, finally got his chance to become a starting NCAA quarter back during his senior season. Though after going 0-1-1 in his first three starts, his job was given temporarily to Steve Bono. Neuheisel would go on to finish the season as a starter for the Bruins though.

Although Neuheisel’s credentials as a starting quarter back were nothing great, he does still hold the UCLA all time single season completion percentage record with 69.3% during the 1983 season.

His NFL career consisted of three starts, all with San Diego, after two full seasons with the San Antonio Gunslingers of the USFL. Neuheisel finished his career off in Tampa Bay, where he never started, but his claim to fame was that he was the very last NFL player to run in a 1 pt. conversion.

Coaching Career

Neuheisel started off his collegiate coaching career at UCLA, with several assistant coaching positions from 1986-1993. He then moved on to Colorado, taking the offensive coordinator position in 1994 before finally becoming their head coach in 1995.

Washington Huskies Coach Rick Neuheisel

Rick Neuheisel - UW Huskies North West Coaches Profile

His head coaching stint at Colorado lasted until 1998, where he then moved on to the University of Washington to coach the Huskies. Neuheisel then went on to a few more coaching jobs before ending up in UCLA where he was the head coach from 2008-2011.

His Huskies career started in 1999, and he was there until 2002. One of the first orders of business for Neuheisel when taking over in Seattle was restoring the Huskies tradition of wearing gold helmets, and I thank him dearly for that.

During the 2000 season, Neuheisel led the Huskies to an 11-1 record, the Pac-10 championship, number three national ranking, and a victory over Purdue in the Rose Bowl. Definitely the highlight of his Washington career.

In 2003, Neuheisel came under NCAA scrutiny for betting on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The second such time he had been under review by the NCAA. This ultimately led to his firing, and left the Huskies with NCAA sanctions against the football program.


Neuheisel is an avid golfer, and takes time out of his busy schedule to enter in numerous charity golf tournaments. His passion for the game has brought him and his son’s closer as a family.

Even though gambling cost him his job in Seattle, he did give a large portion of his winnings to local charities. I guess even the needy can’t pass up the devil’s money.



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About Clinton Bell

NWSB Editor. Born and raised in Friday Harbor. Even though he makes his home in Mesa still bleeds Seattle Blue and Green. Mariners Seahawks Sounders till the day he dies! Bring back his Sonics! Connect with Clinton today!
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