Head Coach • Second Year • UC Riverside '77
4-7 at Cal Poly (Second Year)
121-89 overall (19 Years)
Tim Walsh, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the United States Military Academy the last two seasons, was named Cal Poly's 16th head football coach on Jan. 9, 2009, and guided the Mustangs to a 4-7 mark in his first campaign.
"Tim Walsh brings all of the qualities we were looking for in a head coach for our football team," Cal Poly director of athletics Alison Cone said. "He is a quality leader who understands the unique culture at Cal Poly. He knows how to help young men reach their potential in the classroom, as citizens, and on the football field. We had several outstanding applicants from which to choose, but I am thrilled we were able to hire a person with such outstanding credentials to direct our program.
"He has the ability to continue the success the Cal Poly football program has enjoyed the last six years and that the community and the university will be proud of and excited to support," Cone added.
Walsh replaced Rich Ellerson, the Mustangs' head football coach for the last eight seasons. Ellerson was named head coach at Army on Dec. 26, 2008.
"We had several outstanding applicants from which to choose, but I am thrilled we were able to hire a person with such outstanding credentials to direct this program," Cone said of Walsh. "He is a high-character, high-quality individual who will bring great passion and enthusiasm to our campus."
Walsh has compiled a 121-89 record in 19 seasons as a college head coach, including four years at Sonoma State (27-14 from 1989-92), 14 more seasons at Portland State (90-68 from 1993-2006) and one at Cal Poly (4-7 in 2009). He guided Sonoma State to the Northern California Athletic Conference title in 1991 (ending UC Davis' streak of 20 consecutive conference titles), a pair of NCAA Division II playoff berths while at Sonoma State and four more postseason berths while at Portland State.
"I have a tremendous working knowledge of Cal Poly, its history and current status," said Walsh. "The combination of a tremendous academic university, a tremendous area to recruit and live, and a football program that's winning all added up to a great opportunity for me.
"My goals are to continue to recruit student-athletes whose goals are to be the best they can be, both in the class and on the field, and become quality young men," Walsh added. "If we do that, winning won't be a problem. This is an opportunity to build a great program and develop a great relationship between the campus and the community at large."
Ted Tollner, former Mustang quarterback who has held numerous coaching positions at the college and professional levels, praised the hiring of Walsh.
"He did an excellent job at Portland State and is extremely well respected in the profession," said Tollner. "Cal Poly had some great candidates for the position and I think he's an excellent choice. He will keep the program moving forward and continue the success it has had in recent years.
"People who have worked for him have great respect for his total abilities from a recruiting standpoint, his communication with players, his sound philosophy and his winning record," Tollner added. "His track record speaks for itself."
Added Bobby Beathard, also a former Mustang who has held numerous positions in the NFL, including scout, personnel director and general manager, "Tim Walsh is a terrific choice. He will be a tireless recruiter, he knows what athletes are and what kind of athletes will fit into the program.
"I am excited about him. it's a great choice," Beathard added. "When you find a guy that is really good for you, you grab him and I am glad Cal Poly hired him."
A charismatic speaker and motivator, Walsh guided Sonoma State to three winning seasons in four years at the helm of the Seawolves and 10 more above-.500 campaigns in his 14-year term at Portland State. With the Vikings, Walsh coached 14 All-Americans and 11 Academic All-Americans.
Teri Mariani, who was director of athletics at Portland State when Walsh accepted the duties of offensive coordinator at Army, said at the time of his departure that "Tim showed great loyalty to our program and led us through a transition to Division I that a lot of coaches wouldn't have wanted to do. He has had proven success both on the football field and off, and he's always been such a team player within our department.
"Two words that describe him in my eyes are loyalty and class," Mariani added. "In his 14 years (at Portland State), he has never done one thing that could change that opinion of him"
Portland State joined the Big Sky Conference in 1996. During Walsh's 11 seasons when the Vikings were in the Big Sky, he coached players who earned 39 first-team All-Big Sky honors, 51 on the second team, 80 honorable mentions, 58 Academic All-Big Sky honorees, 59 Big Sky Players of the Week, 20 national player of the week honorees, five Walter Payton Award finalists and one Buck Buchanan Award finalist.
Cal Poly's 2009 squad posted a 4-1 record at home, finished No. 6 in the nation in punt returns (15.60), No. 11 in turnover margin (+1.00), 19th in rushing offense (178.45 yards per game) and 23rd in time of possession (31:22) and was ranked as high as No. 12 in the national polls.
A total of 10 Mustangs earned All-Great West Conference first- or second-team honors, including first-teamers Jake Romanelli (Fullback), Ryan Shotwell (defensive end) and James Chen (defensive tackle).
A Serra High School (San Mateo, Calif.) graduate, Walsh played football at UC Riverside in the mid-1970s as a backup quarterback and earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1977.
He began his coaching career at his high school alma mater, Serra, spending four years (1977-80) as an assistant coach before becoming head coach (1981-85) at Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward. Walsh moved into the college coaching ranks in 1986, becoming an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Santa Clara for one season.
In 1987 and 1988, Walsh was offensive coordinator at Sonoma State before becoming head coach of the Seawolves (then the Cossacks) in 1989. His first season in Rohnert Park produced a 4-6 mark, but Walsh guided Sonoma State to 7-3, 9-2 and 7-3 records in his final three years there.
Walsh embarked upon a 14-year head coaching career at Portland State in 1993, guiding the Vikings to NCAA Division II playoff berths each of his first three seasons.
Portland State elevated its athletics program to Division I in 1996 and, though the Vikings struggled in the first three years at that level, there was steady progression -- from 3-8 to 4-7 and 5-6. The 1999 Viking team began a string of seven winning campaigns in eight seasons, including a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) playoff berth in 2000.
Walsh piloted Portland State to a quartet of second-place finishes in the Big Sky along with a third and three fourth-place finishes. In 14 seasons at the helm, Walsh's Vikings were 62-21 at home. He earned two wins against FBS schools -- Hawaii in 2001 and New Mexico in 2006 -- and was 3-0 against Cal Poly while at Portland State along with a 2-1 mark against the Mustangs while at Sonoma State.
Walsh was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award (FCS Coach of the Year) in 1999
In 2008, Walsh's second season at Army, the Black Knights finished ninth in the Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing offense (241.42 yards per game), fourth in sacks allowed (1.00) and 15th in time of possession (31:45).
While at Army, Walsh's recruiting responsibilities included nine Western states.
The list of coaches who were assistants under Walsh includes Dan Hawkins (Colorado), Gary Patterson (Texas Christian) and Chris Peterson (Boise State). National Football League players who competed under Walsh's tutelage include -- from Sonoma State -- offensive lineman Larry Allen (Dallas) -- and from Portland State -- tight end Tony Curtis (Dallas), wide receiver Shaun Bodiford (Green Bay), linebacker Jordan Senn (Indiana-polis) and linebacker Adam Hay-ward (Tampa Bay).
Walsh and his wife, Jody, have four children: Luke (30), Casey (25), Sean (23) and Megan (16)