Coach Profiles: Mark Whipple
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:
Full Name: Mark John Whipple
Birth date: April 1, 1957
Hometown: Tarrytown, N.Y.
Education: B.S. in political science, Brown University (1979)
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
- 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