Pat Washington, a long-time coach and former player in the Southeastern Conference, joined the University of Missouri football coaching staff in January of 2013 as the Tigers’ new receivers coach.
He’s provided a big impact for Mizzou’s passing game, and did a masterful job in 2014 of molding a group of receivers who had previously been understudies into a high-output first line of producers.
Senior WR Bud Sasser stepped up big time in 2014 under Washington’s coaching, as he was named 1st-team All-SEC for an oustanding season which included team-bests in receptions (77), receiving yards (1003) and receiving touchdowns (12). Sasser became Mizzou’s first first-team all-conference wide receiver since 2009 (Danario Alexander).
Mizzou’s wideouts enjoyed a banner year in 2013, and played a critical role as the Tigers became one of the most improved offensive attacks in the nation.
Leading the way was sophomore standout WR Dorial Green-Beckham, who earned 2nd-Team All-SEC honors by the Associated Press after catching 59 passes for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns – the latter of which tied for most in the SEC in 2013.
Washington’s deep and talented group also featured game-breaking play from senior WR Marcus Lucas (58 catches, 692 yards, 3 touchdowns) and senior WR L’Damian Washington (50 catches, 893 yards, 10 touchdowns). His group’s solid downfield blocking also helped spring the Tiger ground game for a 3,000-yard season and a national rushing ranking of 16th as part of MU’s 12-2 campaign.
Washington, a 28-year collegiate coaching veteran, has 18 years of experience under his belt on four different SEC staffs, including an 11-year stint as wide receivers coach at Tennessee (1995-2005), which included an undefeated 1998 season and a national championship for the Volunteers.
Washington, 50, has also coached in the SEC at Mississippi State (2007-08) and Kentucky (2012), and he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for two years (1987-88) at his alma mater, Auburn, where he was a successful starting quarterback for the Tigers previously.
Washington has enjoyed success all throughout his career, as he’s coached on teams which have reached bowl games 18 times. Tennessee posted a sterling 105-31 record in his tenure there which featured 10 bowl appearances – including three Citrus Bowls, two Fiesta, Peach and Cotton Bowls, and one Orange Bowl. The Volunteers also reached the SEC Championship Game four times with Washington on staff. A win in the 1998 title game vaulted UT to the 1999 Fiesta Bowl, where the Vols downed Florida State, 23-16, to cap an undefeated season and a national championship.
During his tenure at Tennessee, Washington developed a line of standout receivers, including Peerless Price, Donte Stallworth, Joey Kent, Marcus Nash, Robert Meachem and Cedrick Wilson, among others. Nash, Stallworth and Meachem were National Football League first-round draft picks, and all six enjoyed NFL careers.
“We are very pleased to have someone of Pat’s caliber and experience join our team,” said Pinkel, who will enter his 13th year at Mizzou in 2013. “Pat knows the SEC very well, he’s been a coach and player in the league for two decades in total, and the success he’s had on the field and in developing players is very impressive,” said Pinkel.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to join the family at Mizzou,” said Washington. “I’ve admired their program over the years and the success that Coach Pinkel and his staff have had. The SEC is such a great conference, and I look forward to stepping in and helping move the program forward. I believe the receiving group here is a highly-talented group of young men. It’s a group that can make a difference and help us win football games, and I’m eager to get to work with them and to help mentor them and develop them on and off the field into the best receiving group in the SEC,” he said.
Washington’s coaching career began at Auburn, where he served his alma mater as a graduate assistant coach from 1987-88. After the Tigers reached bowl games both years, Washington landed his first full-time position in the industry, as the receivers coach at Louisiana-Lafayette (1989-91), and that was followed by a two-year stop at TCU (1992-93) as receivers coach. He spent one year at Baylor (1994) as running backs coach, and the Bears reached the 1994 Alamo Bowl during his time there, before he left to join Tennessee the next year.
Following his time at UT, Washington coached receivers at Kansas State in 2006, helping the Wildcats to a berth in the Texas Bowl. Two of his wideouts, Jordy Nelson and Yamon Figurs, went on to play in the NFL.
Washington returned to the SEC next, as the receivers coach at Mississippi State from 2007-08. The Bulldogs broke a six-year postseason drought during his time there, as MSU won the 2007 AutoZone Liberty Bowl. From 2009-11, Washington coached running backs at Southern Mississippi, and his backfield played an integral role in Southern Miss’ Conference USA Championship in 2011. He spent the 2012 season at Kentucky as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator.
A native of Mobile, Ala., Washington played quarterback at Auburn from 1982-85, with the Tigers reaching bowl games all four years. He was the starter his final two seasons, and guided Auburn to a combined 17-8 record in those years and to 1984 Liberty Bowl and 1986 Cotton Bowl appearances. His backfield mate, Bo Jackson, won the Heisman Trophy in 1985. Washington, who earned a management degree from Auburn in 1987, and his wife, Claudette, are the parents of sons Tyson and Justin.