Rusty Tillman, assistant to the Seahawks coach for 16 years, has died at the age of 75, the team announced on Tuesday.
Tillman died Sunday in Flagstaff, Arizona. The cause of death was not immediately identified.
Tillman coached the Seattle Special Forces from 1979-91 under head coaches Jack Eck Patera, Mike McCormack (interim coach after the Patera shooting in 1982) and Chuck Knox. During this time, the Seahawks often had a reputation for returning to the top NFL every year, recruiting a number of strikes and coverage teams.
In 1983, the Seahawks led the NFL in both start-up and betting coverage. Seattle led the NFL three times in betting coverage, starting coverage twice և betting returned once under a special teams coach.
During those years, Tillmann also took on the additional responsibilities of top-notch coaches.
He was then Seattle’s defense coordinator from 1992-94. Led by Tom Flores.
“He really was an incredible coach for special teams,” said Paul Moyer, a former Seyhawks safety and defense coach who played for Seattle from 1983-89 and assisted Tillman from 1990-94. “It simply came to our notice then. He really made you feel that special teams are incredibly powerful. He had great ideas. He was just a really good basic coach. He challenged you like no one else did, whether you were a pro or a newcomer. What I learned from him is that you do not want to be too negative, you want to encourage boys to do good plays, not humiliate them for bad ones. …
“Yangot made it positive, that’s why the players in special teams broke their tails for him.”
Tillman, who played in Arizona և Northern Arizona.
“Rastin was one of the great special teams players of all time when he was with Washington,” Moyer told the team website.
When Dennis Erickson took over Flores in 1994. Tillmann did not restrain himself during the season և He coached in the NFL with Tampa Bay, Oakland, Indianapolis և Minnesota, and the New York / New Ersey Jersey Hitmen head coach XFL
Tillman was born on February 27, 1946, in Beloit, Wisconsin.