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Former Purdue Football Coach Joe Tiller Dead At 74

Tiller was 87-62 in 11 seasons at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Former Purdue head football coach Joe Tiller has passed away Saturday morning in Buffalo, Wyoming. He was 74. 

Tiller served as the head coach of the Boilermakers from 1997 to 2008, during which time he became the winningest coach in school history. He postd a record of 87-62 during his time in West Lafayette.

"Today is a very sad day for me and the entire Purdue family," said former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees to PurdueSports.com. Brees played for Tiller from 1997 to 2000, before becoming a successful quarterback in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers and the New Orleans Saints.

"Coach Tiller was an important person in my life and to so many other guys who played for him," Brees continued. "He did so much more than teach us how to win. He taught us life lessons and how to be great leaders and men. My thoughts and prayers are with Arnette, Julie, Renee and Mike."

Tiller was the Big Ten and National Coach of the Year in his first season at Purdue in 1997. Three years later, in 2001, Tiller and Brees took the Boilermakers to a Big Ten Championship, which culminated in a loss to Washingtin in the Rose Bowl. 

"Joe took a chance coming back to Purdue, and all Boilermakers, and me in particular, are grateful," said former Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke, who hired Tiller. "I know the Purdue family joins me in expressing our condolences to Arnette and all of his family." 

Tiller is survived by his wife, Arnette; daughters, Renee and Julie; son, Michael; daughter-in-law Hilda; and grandchildren, Paulina, Lily, Gus and Tori. 

(PHOTO: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

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