Former longtime Seahawks coach Rusty Tillman passes away at 75

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Patrick Olde Loohuis
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Former longtime Seattle Seahawks assistant coach Rusty Tillman passed away at age 75 on Sunday.

Throughout his 16-year tenure with Seattle, Tillman held a number of positions on the coaching staff. He held the position of special teams coach from 1979 to 1991, and also coached the linebacker units from 1983 to 1986, and tight end units from 1987 to 1991. He became the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator in 1992, a position he held through 1994, his last year in the Emerald City. The Buccaneers hired Tillman as their defensive coordinator the following year.

Prior to his coaching career, Tillman played in the NFL as a linebacker for Washington for eight seasons from 1970 to 1977.

Former Seahawks safety and defensive backs coach Paul Moyer commented on the impact Tillman had on the field and with the coaching staff in the aftermath of his death.

“Rusty was one of the great special teams players of all time when he was with Washington,” Moyer said. “He was a legend. He was one of the best motivators and is one of the greatest special teams players and coaches of all time.”

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