ATLANTA – Tim Lappano, who possesses more than 30 years of coaching experience in major college programs and the National Football League, has been named Georgia State’s wide receivers coach, head coach Trent Miles announced.
Lappano joins the GSU staff after five seasons with the NFL’s Detroit Lions, where he coached All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson in 2013. He coached the Lions’ tight ends the previous four years and worked with Brandon Pettigrew, who had more than 70 receptions in back-to-back seasons.
Lappano coached with Miles for three seasons at Washington, where he served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2005-08. Miles was on that offensive staff as running backs coach from 2005-07 before taking the head coaching job at Indiana State.
“We are very excited and fortunate to welcome Tim Lappano to our GSU football family as our new wide receivers coach,” Miles said. “Tim is an outstanding person, role model, coach, and friend. Our young receivers will benefit greatly from his experience, personality, and knowledge.
“Like Jeff Jagodzinski, our offensive coordinator, Tim has coached, coordinated, and recruited some of the best players in college and pro football in Calvin Johnson and Drew Brees, just to name a couple. I have had the pleasure of working with Tim in the past and have firsthand knowledge of the professionalism that he will add to the chemistry of our coaching staff.”
While at Washington, Lappano recruited and mentored future NFL first-round draft pick Jake Locker.
In addition to his most recent stint with the Lions, Lappano has NFL experience with the San Francisco 49ers, where he served as running backs coach from 2003-04, and the Seattle Seahawks, where he coached running backs in 1998.
Lappano has spent 16 years with college programs in major conferences, mostly in the Pacific-10 (now Pacific-12) Conference. He served as offensive coordinator at Oregon State from 1999-2002, as assistant head coach and running backs coach at California from 1992-95, and as assistant coach at Washington State from 1987-92, including the final two years as offensive coordinator. He also spent one year (1997) as the co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Purdue, where he helped recruit and coach Brees.
He began his coaching career as the running backs coach at Idaho, his alma mater, from 1982-85, and he spent two seasons at Wyoming in separate stints, coaching running backs in 1986 and wide receivers in 1996.
Lappano, 57, earned his bachelor’s degree from Idaho in 1983. He played for head coach Dennis Erickson, under whom he later coached at Idaho, Washington State and Oregon State as well as in the NFL with Seattle and San Francisco.
Lappano and his wife, Sandi, have two children, Taylor and Kyle.