Coach Profiles: Mark Whipple

Mark Whipple is in his second season as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Miami. Whipple was hired on January 24, 2009.

A veteran of 28 seasons as a coach on both the collegiate and professional levels, Whipple guided an explosive Hurricanes’ offense to its best season since the national title contending 2002 team. Miami’s offense put up 5,199 yards – becoming just the eighth team in school history to eclipse the 5,000 yard mark in total yards gained. Under Whipple’s tutelage, quarterback Jacory Harris totaled the second-most pass completions (249), fourth-most passing yards (3,352) and sixth-most touchdowns (24) in a single season at Miami.

Whipple spent the 2008 season as an offensive assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, helping the team to an appearance in the NFC championship game. Before joining the Eagles, he served as the quarterbacks coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-06 where he was instrumental in the development of Ben Roethlisberger, who became the youngest starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl as a rookie. In 2004, Roethlisberger became the first NFL quarterback to finish a season undefeated with a 13-0 record in games he started.

Prior to his move to the NFL, Whipple spent 16 seasons as a head coach at the collegiate level compiling an overall record of 121-59 (.672) with stops at the University of Massachusetts, Brown and New Haven.

While at UMass, he posted a 49-26 (.653) record in six years (1998-2003) leading the Minutemen to a Division I-AA National Championship in his first season with the team in 1998, posting a school record 12 wins. He also won a pair of conference championships. He was named National Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association and Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette in 1998 and earned Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year honors in 2003. He was selected as the New England Coach of the Year by the New England Football Writers and the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston in both 1998 and 2003. He posted five winning seasons in only six years as head coach, with nine different players earning first team All-America honors.

Whipple also served as a head coach at his alma mater Brown from 1994-97, where he accumulated a 24-16 (.600) record without a losing season. He also was the head coach at New Haven from 1988-93 where he went an impressive 48-17 (.738) and led the team to back-to-back NCAA Division II playoff appearances in 1992 and 1993. His 1992 team finished 12-1 and ranked No. 5 nationally, while his 1993 squad ranked as high as No. 2 nationally.

At every stop in college, the trademark of a Whipple-coached team was a high-powered offense. His UMass teams rewrote the record books, setting more than 40 team records. In 1998, his national championship team posted school records in points scored (524), touchdowns (73), total yards (7,074), passing yards (4,050), completions (306) and first downs (354). While at Brown, his 1997 squad set Ivy League and school records for total offense (474.3 yards per game), which included a single-game record of 629 yards against Yale. His 1995 team set several single-season records, including most points (282), total offense (4,165 yards), passing offense (2,502 yards) and first downs (227). At New Haven, his 1992 squad led all NCAA divisions in scoring offense (50.5 points per game) and total offense (587.7 yards per game). His 1993 New Haven team was named Sports Illustrated’s “Best Offense in College Football”, averaging 52.5 points and 557.6 yards of total offense per game.

The Tarrytown, N.Y., native’s coaching career began in 1980 as an assistant at St. Lawrence University. Whipple made four more stops over the next seven years (Union College, 1981-82; Brown, 1983; Arizona Wranglers of the USFL, 1984; New Hampshire, 1986-87) before landing his first head coaching appointment.

A 1979 graduate of Brown, he was the Bears starting quarterback from 1977-78, leading the team to a 13-5 record as a starter. He was inducted into the Brown Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. Whipple earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He was a member of the school’s first-ever Ivy League championship team in 1976. He was also a four-year letterman on the Bears baseball team.

Whipple At A Glance:

Personal Information
Full Name: Mark John Whipple
Birth date: April 1, 1957
Hometown: Tarrytown, N.Y.
Education: B.S. in political science, Brown University (1979)
Wife: Brenda
Children: Sons, Spencer and Austin

Whipple’s Coaching Career
2009-present University of Miami (Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks)
2008 Philadelphia Eagles (offensive assistant)
2004-2006 Pittsburgh Steelers (quarterbacks coach)
1998-2003 Massachusetts (head coach)
1994-97 Brown (head coach)
1988-93 New Haven (head coach)
1986-87 New Hampshire (offensive coordinator)
1984 Arizona Wranglers (USFL) (offensive quality control)
1983 Brown (wide receivers)
1981-82 Union College (offensive coordinator)
1980 St. Lawrence (assistant coach)

Bowl Games as a Coach (1)
2009 Champs Sports Bowl

Honors as a Player
Brown Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee in 1996

Coaching Accomplishments

  • Coached UMass to the 1998 Division I-AA national championship
  • 1998 National Coach of the Year
  • 2003 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year
  • Pittsburgh Steelers, Super Bowl win in 2004

Prominent Players Coached

  • Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
  • Donovan McNabb, Eagles

68 thoughts on “Coach Profiles: Mark Whipple”

  1. Whipple sounds like his talents are best employed as an OC… I know there is/has been talk of him leaving for a head coaching job at the D-1 level but he has only won it all once and that was in his first year at UMass, which means he is probably a few notches better than Larry Coker… Both are real good/great OCs that won National ‘Ships with other guys teams and Whipple seems to be an above average head coach while Larry was blah…

    Whip’s offenses always seem to be record breaking but developing squads that never have “losing seasons” is what Randy Shannon has done so far with the exception of 2007 and I don’t think that should count as a squad that Randy developed as much as he inherited…

    I like Whip a lot but last season when folks were trying to pretend as though he was the driving force behind Miami’s success and Randy wasn’t capable, I begged to differ and after reading this great piece I know for a fact that he wouldn’t have done any better than Randy thus far…

    Said all that to say, hopefully he keeps fully employing his talents as our OC and after a couple of BCS, he’ll have a salary on par with the best Assistant Coaches in the college game, namely Monty Kiffin and his 1 million plus annual salary!!

  2. The university of New Haven was actually located in my hometown. I went to college at Southern CT state which is one of their rivals. Kevin Gilbride coached there for a while before the league.

    Whip built that program from the bottom up into a national championship contender.

    The offense was basically unstoppable. Didn’t hurt that their running back Roger Graham averaged like 10 yards a carry and also won the Harlon Hill trophy, equivalent to the heisman, his Junior year in 92.

    Sparano came in after he left.

    The issue with his teams was the D. They stunk. all the games were like 55-49 it seemed. They just out gunned opponents.

    Great team to watch.

    I agree with Ibis. He belongs at OC.

    I just don’t understand why the NFL automatically thinks just because you are a good coordinator that you will be a good head coach. Just doesn’t work that way.

    Ah the good old college days. Nothing like the smell of fall in the air and getting bombed in the morning and picking up some drunk azz hoochy’s tailgating.

    Damn I miss football!!

    Oh and JSQ I saw that Mariah comment bytchez!

    I never hear any mention about this “Six” nonsense either!!

    Good luck with the truck! I just sold mine yesterday and I am already thinking about grabbing one.

    Less then one month to columbine! 🙂

    I watched Hard Knocks last night. Very well put together and I love that it’s on HBO. Ryan is a riot. Love that dude.

    Still can’t stand the Jets or their fans.

    That new stadium looks tight tho.

    GO CANEZ!!!!!

  3. autumn, did datCane take the day off or are you trying to start a turf war.

    cav, after watching that penn st. game again, i don’t feel as bad anymore, especially after hearign the players talk after the game. Made me forget how much family and class we showed after that “NO EXCUSES”, cause all the players knew that they were the better team with the better players, and it showed what one man, being selfish will do to 10 other guys out their laying it all on the line.

    I tell you what though, that penn st. team was real sound and you could see why they were their in that game. A bunch of sure tacklers, but the main thing i always luved about any UM team back than, while other teams would come out play hard, like the gaytors did and like penn st. did that year, nobody was going to play tougher than us on any day of the week. All a team could do back than was hope to match our intensity, andthe ones who did, ended up in a dog fight or actually winning the game.

    cav, another thing about looking at those games, i think collectively, we’ve got more talent offensively now, than we had back than. As of right now on the squad, nobody can match what alonzo highsmith brought, but other than him, our group of receivers stacked up against that group back than, would be hard to match, as fa as speed goes. When you think about hankerson and aldarius, the thing i like watching between those to is, aldarius was better as a freshman than hank was, than aldarius was better as a sophmore than hank when he was a sophmore, so if aldarius is a better junior than hankerson was, look out college football.

    Speaking of offense, i think one of the main things that went un-noticed last year was, this offense was ranked up their pretty high on the UM list of offenses and that’s real impressive when you think about what took place last year, a bunch of true sophmores scattered all on offense, a new oc fumbling around with the play book, an offensive line last year that was, 1/3 aggressive 2/3 finess. A hurt qb for most of the season, to average running backs, and yet and still we put up those kind of numbers.

    When people say a storm is brewing just ponder over those stats for a minute. so now, going into this year, we got a plethora of juniors, more explosive runningbacks, receivers that’ll be a whole lot better fundamentally and more explosive, a more physical offensive line just from the mental alone, we keep jacory upright and healthy, this offense has a chance to be the most explosive offense in UM history.

    shannon is not trying to put together just a college football champion, he’s trying to put together the greatest UM team ever seen, cause shannon knows the measuring stick is only in Coral Gables, we don’t have to look outside the program to see what Greatness is, just walk up and down the hallways at UM.

    When you think about lamar miller and storm johnson and what they bring, mike james fits more in the mold of those teams in the 80’s and that’s rough and rugged as a true sophmore. Speaking of not blocking, coop was not the best pass blocker in the world either back their, so i can see mike james being in the game in crucial situations. As far as wide-outs go, these wide-outs can be compared to any group of wide-outs that ever came thru UM, but thing i like about this group, they are actually trying to be the best group that ever came thru here, same with the runningbacks, and so it will be with the o-line.

    From a defensive standpoint, that’s where their is a lot of catching up to do, particulalrly at the linebacker spots and the secondary, and if dvd comes to play and plays with the same confidence that brandon harris, ray ray and telemaque are bringing, this secondary will have a real good chance of being special back their. Add in imporved d-line play, and over-all as a team, that real UM pride that shannon has instilled in these players, it was never a confidence thing at UM, it’s just always a direction thing, and the direction that shannon has given these players, leading to the way of where Greatness is, and how to get to it, that’s UM football.

  4. In his first year, Whipple gave us 10 more touchdowns than the year before. Can he do it again? With this group I think he can. No more struggling to pull the games out with a frantic two-minute drill. Let’s have a few more games where the winds blow from first to last.

  5. You should check out the videos Manny has under his blog. The one of Henderson and the little kid was awesome. Henderson handled the interaction with the fans very well. He will be good PR for the Canes during his time at the U.

  6. Looking for another step up this year from the offense. J-12 should be better, the O-line should be okay and the running backs and receivers are loaded. Second year under Miracle Whip should be awesome. I see some scores that are really lopsided this year.

    It all comes down to the O-Line.

    What will this team average scoring on offense this year? Between 35-40? What say you?

  7. If J-12 cuts down on his interceptions, Randy Shannon’s Canes will continue the two wins increase per year under his direction.

  8. Excellent posts and I agree with all your points…

    Calvin, I’m going to be honest with you… I thought your faith in Aldarius was blind and unwarranted but this young man has been working hard, making plays, and showing off in pracice…

    So perhaps, your inclination that Byrd is just a harder worker with a little less talent is true because from all accounts, Aldarius has started working harder and is looking like a “Play Maker” on Green Tree!!!

    I agree with your statement that all the boys are playing to be the greatest now… Everyone of our WRs, RBs, and DBs seem to be playing with that chip on their shoulder and this hopefully is the year that they put it all together… If they don’t, they will get embarrassed in practice every day!!

  9. doc ibis, just think about it, and i can understand why you felt that way about aldarius, but the thing people forget, when you go back to his freshman, the reason he didn’t get that much credit was basically because, he made everything look that easy, seemed like he didn’t skip a beat from highschool to college. Than last year, all you have to do is look no further than the okalhoma game to see his vaule, for all leonard hankerson did last year, where was he in that game, either oklahoma game planned him out of it, or he did a laron byrd and dissappeared.

    I like laron byrd, and i’m glad he’s here, don’t get me wrong i just think starting laron over aldarius is just another way of forcing him to Greatness, because production wise, it’s not as close as it may seem or as the stats might show, aldarius makes clutch catches and move the sticks, laron byrd as of right now, i’m not sure exactly what he brings besides, toughness and work ethic, physically, he’s up their with alot of guys, but field production is what we looking for and aldarius has that.

    In fact esteban, aldarius has a brother name barnyard up your way in maryland, that’s all he keep talking about, everytime he starts sippin on something, he starts talking bout, “he gone do it, he gone bring the family back, i was suppose to do it, but baby brah gone do it” etc. etc. funny as hell to hear or see it.

    But aldarius has been the real deal since he’s been here, no matter the competition level, he has always shown he belongs on that field with whoever, the question is, do they belong on the field with him. If aldarius has gotten better, and the thing about aldarius is basically this, he’s never going to be that explosive wide receiver like travis benjamin or aj-one. But he’ll just continue to get open all day long and comman double teams.

    Good point about ryan hill to esteban, dvd got somebody waiting in the wings for em, “More Motivation”. The wore thing in the world in football has to be getting benched as a senior, cause that’ll just lower his chances at the next level.

    old fart,those 17 interceptions last year from jacory were misleading, like that one before the half against clemson and the rest of the ones where he got hit while throwing, etc. etc. You give jacory a lil time, he’ll pick any defense apart with precision.

  10. Some of J12’s interceptions were the result of bad reads or trying to force the ball into a tight spot. Forcing a throw into a tight spot is what all great QBs do. Look at Dan the Man or Brett Favre. I also think some of his interceptions were due to his hand and thumb injuries. He will be much much better this year.

    I agree Calvin, J-12 has a monster year this year.

  11. J12 has a tremendous belief in the athleticism of his receivers and he believes if he gets the ball near them they will catch it. Some of the catches from last year were unbelievable and it happened again and again throughout the season.

    He is a gunslinger and will throw anytime he thinks he can get it in there. With an attitude like that, coupled with a little discipline and improved footwork, another year of learning what Whipple wants…. I can’t wait!!!!!!!!

  12. Of course we can’t take back what happened with the interceptions last year, but playing ESPN’s game of “What If?” What if…J12 doesn’t throw the pick six against Clemson and if the picks by UNC didn’t happen? The U is 11-1 and going who knows where, ACC Championship and who knows what BCS bowl? and their outlook this year is National Champs by all the experts, with the exception of all the experts in the state of Ohio.

  13. bg,

    We will be tuned in, break a leg or whatever it is you say for a radio show. Go Canes

  14. The best parts of the O Franklin story


    –Franklin says he weighs 310, the lightest he’s been since high school. He says he dropped the 10 pounds because he wants to play 99.9 percent of the snaps.”

    –On his tendency to always have a scowl: “I’m 6-7, I can’t walk around with a smile on my face. I’ll look like Barney or something.”

    –On when he does have fun: “Game day is fun. Practice is fun. When you hit a block the right way, you hear coach (Jeff) Stoutland jumping up and down yelling saying, `Good job.”’ That’s great. There ain’t no other [better] feeling when you put somebody in the dirt. I’m smiling all the time on the field.”

  15. Calvin says:
    August 15, 2010 at 9:58 AM
    autumn, did datCane take the day off or are you trying to start a turf war.
    gotta get competition so dat cane will "fly around" hereo

  16. history:

    the father of my 94 year old mother bought 5 seasons tickets to the orange bowl (my mother says it was to raise money to help it get built) . . . the tickets were for my grandfather & grandmother, mother & her 2 sisters.

    my mother says she thinks they began going to the games when she was a teenager = mid 1930’s (maybe someone knows the exact date?).
    the seats were on the 50 yard line fairly close to the field.
    my mother & father took over these 5 tickets, 2 of which always went to an aunt & uncle; the other one often to my grandmother . . . but they took me to a few games as i was growing up (1960’s).
    they kept those 50-yard-line seats going to every game up until my mom was in her early 70’s (somewhere in the early 1980’s i guess)

    my mother says that during all those years, they had to totally bundle up in november & december with jackets & blankets . . . but that this changed later on, when it began staying warmer.

    she used to take fudge because they knew all the people in the rows around them. i guess this is “bleacher-gating” . . . but her fudge was incredible and would have given your cupcakes major competition, JSQ.

    the only game they took me to that i remember was notre dame.
    and i remember my father saying that they had more talent in their 3rd string then we had on our 1st string, because notre dame’s name brought them all the talent.
    miami lost but kept it very close until the 4th quarter and my parents were totally proud of the way they played.

    one thing i really liked, they always talked about the canes players as “our boys”. and there was something like parental pride in the canes, even when they would lose (which they mostly did during the time my parents watched . . . all those national titles came after my dad died and my mother stopped going to games).

    they were true fans . . . and they injected the green & orange into me.

  17. thanks canechic . . . i thought the blog was broken.

    talked to my mother on the phone today refreshing my memory and getting a couple extra tidbits (like the cold weather & the fudge) and decided to write it all down right away before my infamous memory could erase it or jumble it all up.

  18. The invincible 2001 Canes had to PUNT after their first possession against Nebraska, as Dorsey was flushed from the pocket and actually HIT to the ground. Oh my!! haha

  19. Cal, not only do we have more talent overall than the ’87 team, we have deeper talent than the 2001 team. I’m watching this 2002 Rose Bowl and obviously we don’t have a Shockey or a Johnson, or a Portis, Mcgahee-Gore but Miller, Storm, James and Berry aren’t too far behind. And we definitely don’t have a Vilma, DJ.

    But we’re so deep this year it’s a different type of scary good. DL should be just as good now that Petri’s here. I think we’re actually deeper on the DL this year, man for man. We don’t have a Big Vince obviously but overall I don’t think we give up much to that unit.

    And yeah, AJ has been clutch and ballin from day one. I just wanted to see him become faster and more explosive because he has all the other tools. He along with these other guys never had a proper RS year to just grow. So their development is a little delayed.

    And I’m watching this Rose Bowl game, and it’s in the 2nd quarter, Miami 7-0 and Nebraska is holding their own. They even stopped us inside their 40 after a turnover on the kickoff.

    But more importantly, our offense was so simplistic given the talent we had. If that team had someone like Whipple they would’ve really been unstoppable.

    I’d say the biggest point to notice is the effect of Coker even on that team, even with Shannon as DC. You can tell the team wasn’t pushed by the HC, honed by the HC.

    Shannon will have a collection of talent as good or better than the 2001 team next year and most years thereafter. It’s clear to me now after watching the 2001 and 1987 teams.

  20. ‎5 minutes until show time….check us out……Hurricane Alley!

  21. Hurricane Randy says:
    August 15, 2010 at 1:19 PM
    Of course we can’t take back what happened with the interceptions last year, but playing ESPN’s game of “What If?” What if…J12 doesn’t throw the pick six against Clemson and if the picks by UNC didn’t happen? The U is 11-1 and going who knows where, ACC Championship and who knows what BCS bowl? and their outlook this year is National Champs by all the experts, with the exception of all the experts in the state of Ohio.


    Randy, I think things happened exactly the way should have happened, esp. the loss to Wisky, VT and Clemson. It gave the players and coaches insight into our weaknesses which sometimes doesn’t happen if you have special players that can bail you out, like the 2002 team did with Willis.

    It sets them up perfectly for this year.

  22. Sorry for the static guys, my mike and Skype weren’t agreeing today, but I think its all fixed now and I shouldn’t have that problem anymore.

  23. I know. You guys did a great job.

    Este, I thought you sounded good. I didn’t notice you sounded congested.

    The information was good, you guys sounded good.

  24. Esteban says:
    August 15, 2010 at 7:06 PM
    I’ll sound alive next week. Congested, but that just contributed not the reason.


    Este, you sound fine. I’m listening to you right now.

  25. Caniak. Yeah follow the link above. I apologize again for the static, I screech when I hear it. Hopefully we won’t have that again. It was me and Este’s first time EVER doing anything like this and think we did ok. We’ll get better as we get more comfortable with the medium and each other. Stick with us and we’ll get through it! I promise…

  26. No worries here, bg. It’s like me interviewing recruits over the phone and in-person. The first couple of times I was nervous as hell! But once you gain some experience, know what to expect, it’s all good.

    Imagine me talking to Bruce Feldman! man, nervous as a prostitute in church! But it was fine, I did okay. And you guys did fine, too.

  27. That’s good, though. The time flew by, even listening. But you guys do get the majority of the 30, maybe like 2-4 minutes of commercial.

    The point I was trying to make was: the more you do it, the better you’ll be at it. Experience is the best teacher. Period.

  28. Wow!

    The 12th Man article is gaining steam on Facebook! It was picked up by Randy Shannon’s page!

  29. miamimike01 says:
    August 16, 2010 at 1:53 AM
    The 12th Man article is gaining steam on Facebook! It was picked up by Randy Shannon’s page!

    doesn't surprise me – it's a very good, inspiring story . . . well done!

    and good luck – regarding getting a call for a 2nd interview

  30. cav – thanks for the U vs. nebraska 2001 utube connection.
    i enjoyed watching the whole thing.

    but no matter how hard i try to slow down the game, i don’t see a thing that you all are, regarding who’s doing good in the trenches, who’s running sharp routes, whether or not a running back is fast or “dancing” too much in the backfield, etc.
    and i really tried.
    hats off to the vision several of you have.

  31. Hope it was okay to post that. One of the people from CSS tv , talking football live picked UM over OSU , and talked about the front 4.

  32. cav, i could only wach the 1st half of that 5th championship game man, i can’t stomach watch us shut down the offense in the second half man. I got tired of that crap all year we kept doing that, the worst part about it, dorsey would be in games in the second half just handing the ball off, hell put the back up in to do that, but anyway, those kind of frustrating days are over, shannon is developing more and more a sense of when to put in the 2nd and 3rd stringers now.

    Like you said, we need someone who’s going to stay on the team and drive them, that man is here now. Not only is he driving them, but the competition is too. You right about the current runningbacks vs the runningbacks on that team, at the same time though, i just realized who damien berry runs like, he reminds me of a smaller version of alonzo highsmith, he just gets the ball and runs hard to the whole with that defensive mentality, gotta luv that. Between berry, mike james and miller, those 3 alone will start to scare teams, and once, miller breaks one off in a game for 50 yards or longer, that’s when defensive coordinators will start having nightmares like uh oh, here they go again. I luv to see that look on oppossing coaches faces like, damyum, where do they keep getting these guys from.

    I know as soon as we develop a decent linebacker crew, we’re going to start killing teams, well, particularly a middle linebacker that is, that’s why kevin nelson is getting baptize right now. i like the fact that he said, this ain’t highschool where they baby you, shannon and barrow, 1st showed their recruiting side, now it’s their coaching side now, they gone test and see who really want to BE “A MIAMI HAIR-RAH CANE!

    I think the difference with this team and that team though was, well they had alot of real good seniors and juniors, and that o-line was real rugged, that’ll be the interesting part, how soon will this o-line start to perform close to that level of play. shannon has excelerated that process by bringing petri, another chess move by the jedi himself, using his studies well.

    This upcoming year should be a fun year for sure.

  33. Sorry guys missed the show, I have been overdoing the last couple of days and it all finally caught up with me on Sunday. Had a bit of sore throat and a horrible headache, stayed in bed all day. I will listen to the replay this week.

    Starting my internship this morning….so nervous, I have not worked at a different job in 12 years! Here goes…..

    Timmy got a welcome to the NFL last night I see 😉

  34. canechic – good luck.
    i think many of us can relate to being nervous when we begin a new job.

    from the personality that comes thru your posts, it’s clear that you’ll do excellent.

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