Pat Washington, who has 15 years of coaching experience in the Southeastern Conference and also played in the league, will be the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator for the Wildcat football team, Coach Joker Phillips has announced.
Washington’s most direct tie with UK coaches is through his 11 seasons on the Tennessee staff when he coached with current Wildcat offensive coordinator Randy Sanders. Washington has not coached with Phillips but is acquainted with the Wildcat leader.
“I met Pat when we crossed paths during recruiting and was impressed with his professionalism,” Phillips said. “He has outstanding coaching ability and enthusiasm for the Southeastern Conference.”
Washington and Sanders were together at Tennessee from 1995-2005. The Volunteers posted a 105-31 record that featured 10 bowl appearances – three Citrus Bowls, two Fiesta, Peach and Cotton Bowls, and one Orange Bowl.
Washington also helped Tennessee earn four trips to the SEC Championship game. A win in the 1998 title tilt propelled UT to the Fiesta Bowl, where the Volunteers dispatched Florida State 23-16 to cap an undefeated national championship season.
During his term at Tennessee, Washington produced a string of notable receivers such as Joey Kent, Marcus Nash, Peerless Price, Cedrick Wilson, Donte’ Stallworth and Robert Meacham. Nash, Stallworth and Meacham were National Football League first-round draft picks and all six players enjoyed NFL careers. Kent, Nash, Wilson and Price still remain, respectively, as the top four pass catchers in school history.
“Pat has a lot of energy and expertise and is an outstanding person,” Sanders said. “He is also an excellent evaluator and recruiter, both in handling his recruiting territory and in evaluation of wide receivers.”
Washington’s coaching career began at Auburn, his alma mater, as a graduate assistant in 1987-88. His first full-time post came as the receivers coach at Louisiana-Lafayette (1989-91), followed by a two-year stint at Texas Christian. In 1994, he helped guide Baylor to a spot in the Alamo Bowl before going to Tennessee.
Following his stint in Knoxville, Washington coached the receivers at Kansas State in 2006 as the Wildcats earned a berth in the Texas Bowl. Two of his wideouts, Jordy Nelson and Yamon Figurs, went on to play in the NFL.
Washington returned to his SEC roots in 2007-08 as the receivers coach at Mississippi State, where he was on the staff with current Wildcat assistant David Turner. MSU broke a six-year postseason drought by winning the 2007 AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
In 2009-11, Washington coached the running backs at Southern Mississippi. His deep backfield played a key role in Southern Miss’ Conference USA championship in 2011. Four different backs notched 100-yard rushing games during the season. Southern Miss led the league and ranked 20th in the nation in rushing with 205.1 yards per game. Overall, the Golden Eagles ranked 17th in the nation in total offense and 14th in scoring offense.
Washington had accepted a position at East Carolina as run game coordinator and outside receivers coach in January before coming to UK. All totaled, Washington’s 25-year coaching career features 18 bowl appearances.
“I appreciate Coach Phillips giving me this opportunity,” Washington said. “I’ve had a strong relationship with Randy Sanders for a long time and I wanted to work with him again. I love the Southeastern Conference and having been here (with visiting teams), thought that Kentucky would be a great place to coach and live.”
A native of Mobile, Ala., played four years at Auburn (1982-85). The Tigers went to postseason play all four years, including the 1982 Tangerine Bowl, 1984 Sugar Bowl, 1984 Liberty Bowl and 1986 Cotton Bowl. Washington was the starting quarterback as a junior and senior, leading the Tigers to a 17-8 record. In 1985, Washington helped teammate Bo Jackson win the Heisman Trophy. Washington completed his degree in management in 1987.