Joe Tiller was a great football coach in so many ways.

He went 87-62 from 1997 to 2008, with 10 bowl trips in 12 seasons, including the 2000 Rose Bowl.

To put 87-62 at Purdue in perspective, you have to understand that the Boilermakers went 54-107-5 in the 15 years before Tiller got there. And they have gone 31-67 in the eight full seasons since he left.

That’s what you call a gifted coach.

What I especially appreciated about Tiller, 74, who died Saturday at home in Buffalo, Wyoming, was his dry sense of humor and his unassuming manner. Both of those things are in desperately short supply among college football coaches—and have been for a long time. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.