Notre Dame is off to their best start in South Bend since 2002 when Tyrone Willingham was the head coach. The Fighting Irish are now set up nicely to make a little BCS run if things continue to go their way but all of this success had us wondering just whatever happened to Willingham?
Soon after being terminated by Notre Dame at the end of the 2004 season, Willingham returned to the Pac 12 to take over Washington's football program. After a few down years back on the football sidelines Willingham's contract was once again terminated and he has been rarely seen or heard from since in the college football world. He formally retired from football coaching in 2010, but he still offers some advice to student athletes today.
These student athletes, in particular…
Those would be the smiling faces of the Stanford women's golf team, ranked 39th in the country by Golf Week. According to a quick blurb by The South Bend Tribune, Willingham is serving as a volunteer assistant coach to the team this year. His job is to help the golfer's with the psychology of the game, more so than the actual tactics and form of the sport.
It is good to see Willingham involved with coaching in some form. He always was respected for his approach to the sport but things just never quite materialized on the field. Golf has always been a mentally challenging game for those who take it seriously. It can be physically draining through the back nine when the heat is starting to weigh down on you. This is where Willingham's approach to athletic competition comes in to play for Stanford's women's golf team. Willingham, who has a degree in physical education from Michigan State, should feel right at home with this volunteer position.