BOONE, N.C. — Pat Washington, a championship-winning coach with more than three decades of experience at the collegiate level, was announced by Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz as the Mountaineers’ wide receivers coach Monday.
“Pat brings a championship pedigree to our program,” Drinkwitz said. “He coaches with detail, technique and fundamentals. He’s an excellent mentor to young men. I’m excited to watch the growth of our pass game with Pat leading the wide receivers unit. We welcome him and his family to Boone.”
In 32 years in the profession, Washington has been part of a BCS national championship at Tennessee in 1998, as well as five conference championships, 23 bowl games, 10 bowl wins and 11 double-digit-win seasons. The former Auburn quarterback most recently coached at South Carolina (2016-18) and has stops at Missouri (2013-15), Kentucky (2012), Southern Miss (2009-11), Mississippi State (2007-08), Kansas State (2006), Tennessee (1995-2005), Baylor (1994), TCU (1992-93), Louisiana (1989-91) and Auburn (1987-88).
“I’m excited to be at Appalachian State, a place with so much history and tradition,” Washington said. “Coach Drinkwitz is an up-and-coming star in the profession. There are hard-working young men on this team who are used to winning, and I look forward to working with them and the staff to keep the Mountaineers’ championship tradition alive.”
Under Washington’s watch as South Carolina’s tight ends coach, Hayden Hurst went from a former walk-on to a first-team All-SEC tight end and first-round NFL Draft pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2018. Hurst ranked second on the Gamecocks squad in both receptions and receiving yards during the 2017 campaign.
Washington came to South Carolina from Missouri, where he served as the Tigers’ wide receivers coach from 2013-15. The Tigers captured the SEC Eastern Division title and played in the SEC Championship game in both 2013 and 2014. He coached Bud Sasser and Dorial Green-Beckham to All-SEC honors during his tenure and helped Mizzou become one of the most improved offensive attacks in the nation in his first year in 2013.
From 2006-12, Washington spent time coaching the likes of wideouts Jordy Nelson and Yamon Figurs at Kansas State in 2006 and helped Mississippi State break a six-year postseason drought with a Libery Bowl win in 2007. He was also part of three winning seasons as the running backs coach at Southern Miss from 2009-11, including a 12-2 Conference USA Championship campaign in 2011 that was capped by a victory in the Hawaii Bowl. He coached receivers and served as the passing game coordinator at Kentucky in 2012.
As the receivers coach on Phillip Fulmer’s Tennessee staff from 1995-2005, Washington helped the Volunteers post a 105-31 record during his tenure that featured 10 bowl appearances — including three Citrus Bowls, two Fiesta, Peach and Cotton Bowls, and one Orange Bowl. The Volunteers also reached the SEC Championship Game four times with Washington on staff. A win in the 1998 SEC title game vaulted UT to the 1999 Fiesta Bowl, where the Vols downed Florida State, 23-16, to cap an undefeated season and a national championship.
During his tenure at Tennessee, Washington developed several standout receivers, including Peerless Price, Donte Stallworth, Joey Kent, Marcus Nash, Robert Meachem and Cedrick Wilson, among others. Nash, Stallworth and Meachem were first-round draft picks, and all six enjoyed NFL careers.
Washington’s coaching career began at Auburn, where he served his alma mater as a graduate assistant coach from 1987-88. After the Tigers won SEC titles and played in the Sugar Bowl both years, Washington landed his first full-time position in the industry as the receivers coach at Louisiana (1989-91), and that was followed by a two-year stop at TCU (1992-93) as receivers coach. He spent one year at Baylor (1994) as the running backs coach, and the Bears reached the 1994 Alamo Bowl during his time there, before he left to join Tennessee the following year.
A native of Mobile, Ala., Washington played quarterback at Auburn from 1982-85. He was the starter in his final two seasons and guided the Tigers to a combined 17-8 record in those years and to 1984 Liberty Bowl and 1986 Cotton Bowl appearances.
Washington earned a management degree from Auburn in 1987. He and his wife, Claudette, are the parents of sons Tyson and Justin.
With the addition of Washington, Drinkwitz has finalized all 10 on-field assistant positions. On the offensive side with Washington are Shawn Clark, Ken Dorsey and Justin Watts. The defense will be coached by coordinator Ted Roof and assistants Greg Gasparato, Charlie Harbison, D.J. Smith and Buddy Wyatt. Erik Link will serve as the special teams coordinator.