Many moons ago, I wrote an article in which I hyped the hiring of Paul Boudreau, who went on to be a fan favorite among these parts due to his ability to produce results from marginal talent. Well, Tim is much like Paul, but with corners and safeties instead of guards and tackles... and centers. Since Tim is the defensive coordinator of our team (and because it's very slow this time of year) I have decided to write an article about his career and what he can do for us.
First off, from 1990-1993 Tim Walton was a defensive back for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He served as co-captain for the Big Ten champions in 1993. During his time with the Buckeyes, OSU went to four bowl games, including the Liberty Bowl in 1990. In 1995 he was a graduate assistant for the Bowling Green Falcons. From 96-98 he was a running backs coach for Bowling Green. Why wasn't he the defensive backs coach for Bowling Green you may ask? Well, two words: STEVE SPAGNUOLO. Yeah, that fucking guy, the guy you're thinking of right now. Small world, huh? Outside of that little factoid, Bowling Green was a pretty boring team while Tim Walton was there. They didn't seem to produce much talent or win a lot of games. Spagnuolo left the team after 97 to become the defensive coordinator and linebacker coach of the Frankfurt Galaxy who, A. I thought was just a fake team in Madden 05 and, B. Is probably the only team that would hire him right now. Walton became the defensive backs coach for Bowling Green in 1999 and held that position for one year in which Bowling Green had another boring and uneventful 5-6 season. Tim then left to become the defensive backs coach for Memphis from 2000-2001.
Damn, that thing is cool.
In 2000 the Memphis Tigers were pretty shitty, and the 01 Tigers weren't much better either, going 4-7 and 5-6 respectively. I would like to talk some defensive stats but they aren't well kept on sport reference sites. The Tigers were just a mediocre team with no real claims to fame at the time. The Tigers weren't producing big name talent or winning a ton of games so they were pretty irrelevant. So were there any weird coaching connections on that team like there was with Bowling Green? Well... Sorta. The graduate assistant on that 2000 Tigers team was Pat Meyer. Pat Meyer later became the offensive coordinator for Marc Trestman's 2011 Montreal Alouettes. Trestman is now the head coach of the Chicago Bears and he brought Pat Meyer along with him as an assistant offensive line coach. In 2001, Randy Fichtner was the offensive coordinator of the Tigers and is now the QB coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers and has been since 2010. Joe Cullen, a defensive line coach in 2001, is now a defensive line coach for the Browns, and Tim Banks, who was the outside linebacker coach and replace Walton as the defensive backs coach in 2002, is now the defensive coordinator for the Fighting Illini. (That one was for you Brandon.) Tim left Memphis and in 2002 was the defensive backs coach for Syracuse and then defensive backs coach for LSU in 2003.
That is... A terrible mascot.
So what was going on in Syracuse football in 2002? Well, Tim was working with men such as Matt Patricia, the current defensive coordinator of the Patriots, Jerry Azzinaro, current assistant head coach of the Eagles, and David Walker, current running backs coach of the Colts. So how were the Orangemen in 2002? They went 4-8. On the bright side, they did produce Superbowl hero David Tyree and offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka. On the other hand you have the 2003 LSU Tigers. Tim coached with such men as Will Muschamp, current head coach of the Florida Gators, Derek Dooley, current Wide Receiver coach of the Cowboys, Travis Jones, current defensive line coach of the Seahawks, and Jimbo Fisher, current head coach of Florida State. The Tigers went 13-1 that year and won the BCS national championship. They produced such players as Joseph Addai, Marcus Spears, Corey Webster, Andrew Whitworth, LaRon Landry, Donnie Jones, Craig Steltz, Dwayne Bowe, and Kyle Williams. Cornerback, Corey Webster became was and All-American that year and has won two Superbowls with the Giants. Landry was a pro-bowler last year and Craig Steltz currently plays for the Bears. The LSU defense ranked among the nation's top three in four of five major defensive statistical categories: total defense (first, 252.0 yards per game), scoring defense (first, 11.0 ppg), pass efficiency defense (second, 89.8 rating) and rushing defense (third, 67.0 yards per game). Additionally, LSU ranked 18th nationally in passing yardage defense (185.0 ypg) while leading the SEC in four of the five defensive categories, including a No. 2 ranking in the league in pass defense. Tim left LSU and then went on to coach the Miami Hurricanes from 2004-2007 and was promoted from defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator in 2007
Walton's first three seasons at Miami were very successful. As the defensive backs coach, the Miami secondary ranked in the top 10 nationally in pass defense in 2004 (9th) and 2005 (1st). In 2005, Walton's pass defense led the nation, allowing only 152.17 yards per game. He Coached three All-Americans that year. safety Brandon Meriweather and cornerback Kelly Jennings. Safety Kenny Phillips was also a Freshman All-American. Jennings was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the first round, and the other starter in the 2005 secondary, cornerback Marcus Maxey, was drafted in the fifth round by Kansas City. In 2004, Walton's secondary ranked ninth in the country. He coached Antrel Rolle, who was named an All-American that year. Antrel was later a first round selection of the Arizona Cardinals. Walton was fired by Miami in 2007 after they let up over 300 points for the first time since 1984 and missed a bowl game for the first time since 1997. Miami went 5-7 that year. Walton spent a year in Memphis again and was then hired by the Lions.
*Not actually Tim Walton.
From 2009-2011 Tim coach the Lions secondary and fans sung songs of his greatness in Detroit as he took poor talent and made it produce (Ex. Eric Wright). Seriously though, many of their fans were disappointed when he left as he helped improve players like Chris Houston, Louis Delmas, Amari Spievey, etc. Here are some quotes from Lions fans.
He did a great job with Eric Wright & Chris Houston and I hope he sticks around to do the same with Bentley, Green, and Greenwood.
Walton has worked wonders with the scraps he has been given. He deserves to go coach for a real NFL team. Congrats Walton on your new job. Hate to see you go.
Walton made a sub-par secondary look feasible when healthy. I give him all the credit in the world for that. I would hate to lose him to the Rams.
Given the personnel in the secondary and who was actually healthy, Walton did an excellent job IMO.
Reminds you of Boudreau, doesn't it? The ability to make something out of nothing. Just another reason that I'm not worried about our safety situation this season.
Jim Schwartz also had nothing but good things to say of Tim Walton
Last year, Detroits Pass Defense was ranked 14th, one spot ahead of the Rams. I have 100% faith in Walton and this defense and expect him to not only take Janoris and Trumaine to the next level, but to also make the safety "issue" a non issue.