TAMPA, JAN. 10, 2014 – University of South Florida head coach Willie Taggart today named Paul Wulff to assume the position of offensive coordinator/offensive line coach on the Bulls’ coaching staff.
Wulff has spent the last two seasons serving as a senior offensive assistant with the San Francisco 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh. After joining the franchise in 2012, he helped guide the team to the 2012 NFC Championship and Super Bowl XLVII and playoff appearances the last two seasons.
Wulff joins Bulls’ defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan and assistant head coach/defensive backs coach Ron Cooper as the third USF assistant with experience as an assistant coach in the NFL. He will assume coaching duties for USF immediately while continuing to coach with the 49ers through the completion of their NFL playoff run.
“Paul has great experience at the Division I level in a leadership role and was a standout offensive lineman with a proven ability to develop strong offensive lines,” Taggart said. “His experience working closely with Jim (Harbaugh) gives him a good understanding of our philosophy. He’ll bring some different ideas and will be a great teacher.”
Wulff brings 12 years of experience as a collegiate head coach to USF, serving stints at Washington State University (2008-11) and Eastern Washington University (2000-2007), and more than 25 years of collegiate coaching experience.
In Wulff’s four seasons leading the Washington State program, the Cougars’ offensive production improved in each season. In his final season of 2011, WSU ranked ninth in the FBS in passing offense (322.25 ypg) and 33rd in total offense (422.42 ypg). From 2010-11, Washington State was the only team in Division I to improve in total offense, total defense, offensive scoring and defensive scoring both seasons. The Cougars’ defensive performance improved in each of his final three campaigns.
Prior to his time at Washington State, Wulff spent 15 seasons (1993-2007) at Eastern Washington University, eight of those as head coach. Named head coach of the Eagles program in 2000, he successfully led the FCS program from 2000-07. Wulff was honored as the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year three times (2001, 2004 and 2005) and was named a finalist for National Coach of the Year honors in 2004 and 2007. In his eight seasons at the helm, Wulff led EWU to a 53-40 record, two Big Sky Conference Co-Championships (2004 and 2005) and three appearances in the NCAA FCS playoffs (2004, 2005 and 2007).
Wulff coached 23 players to 56 FCS (formerly Division I-AA) All-America honors while at the helm of the EWU program. Of the 21 players to earn All-America recognition, 15 were offensive lineman. Additionally, Wulff mentored 15 players who earned 18 total CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII honors and a total of 131 All-Big Sky Conference Academic team members.
Wulff's 2005 team featured the Big Sky's Offensive and Defensive MVP's (Erik Meyer and Joey Cwik), and a trio of All-Americans (Meyer, Eric Kimble and Matt Alfred). Meyer would go on to win the Walter Payton Award as the best football player in the Football Championship Subdivision. Together, Meyer and Kimble rewrote Eastern's record book as they combined for 27 school records and four Big Sky marks. Meyer set a FCS record for passing efficiency rating (166.47 with 10,261 yards, 84 touchdowns, just 17 interceptions and a .657 completion rate), while Kimble's 46 touchdown grabs ranked second in FCS history behind the 50 of legendary Jerry Rice. The Eagles finished 7-5 and won the Big Sky title with a 5-2 record before losing to eventual national runner-up Northern Iowa in the first round of the playoffs.
In 2004, EWU quarterback Erik Meyer was named the league's Offensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award. Senior offensive tackle Michael Roos joined Meyer, wide receiver Eric Kimble and guard Rocky Hanni as All-Americans, with Roos eventually being taken in the second round of the NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans. Wulff's squad finished 9-4 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the playoffs, knocking off No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Southern Illinois in the first round.
Wulff’s 2004 and 2005 EWU teams both finished the year ranked fourth in the FCS in total offense.
Wulff served as the offensive coordinator/line/strength coach at EWU from 1998-99 and the Eagles offensive line/strength coach from 1994-97. He began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant/offensive line coach at EWU, in 1993.
A standout offensive lineman at Washington State, Wulff was a four-year letterman (1985-89) and earned second-team All-Pac 10 and honorable mention All-America honors from The Sporting News as a senior in 1989.
Wulff started at center and long snapper under three different coaches after redshirting in 1985. He played for Jim Walden in 1986, Dennis Erickson from 1987-88 and Mike Price in 1989. He was also the starting center on WSU's 1988 Aloha Bowl championship team.
Wulff signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted rookie free agent in 1990, and was later released during training camp. He also played for the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks (1991) and the New York/New Jersey Knights (1992) of the NFL World League.
A native of Woodland, CA, Wulff graduated from Washington State in 1990 with a degree in social sciences. He and his wife, Sherry, have three children, Katie, Max and Sam.
What They Are Saying about Paul Wulff
Jim Harbaugh – Head coach San Francisco 49ers
“Coach Wulff is a great coach, fine person and a good friend who has the respect and appreciation of all with the San Francisco 49ers organization. We wish Paul, Sherry and family great success and happiness at the University of South Florida. Coach Taggart and the USF family are never too far from our thoughts. Go Bulls!”
Dennis Erickson – Former head coach at Washington State
“He played for me, was my center for two years. There was nobody more competitive. He was an overachiever and a technician. Watching him as an assistant and a head coach, his teams always played with a lot of enthusiasm, were well coached and motivated. He has a great offensive mind. He gets along extremely well with his players and is a great recruiter. He’ll be a tremendous addition at USF.”
1993: Eastern Washington (Volunteer Assistant)
1994-97: Eastern Washington (Offensive Line/Strength Coach)
1998-99: Eastern Washington (Offensive Coordinator)
2000-07: Eastern Washington (Head Coach)
2008-11: Washington State (Head Coach)
2012-13: San Francisco 49ers (Senior Offensive Assistant)