Joe Tiller?s sixth-year assistant head coach is Scott Downing, who coaches the running backs and special teams.
In 2001, Downing helped Travis Dorsch become an All-American as both a kicker and a punter. Dorsch finished his career as the Big Ten Conference leader with 68 field goals and 355 kicking points. He also was the school record-holder for career field goal percentage (.701) and punting average (48.5). Dorsch received the Ray Guy Award as the nation?s outstanding punter in 2001.
Downing has mentored two running backs who have just missed 1,000-yard seasons. Montrell Lowe finished with 998 yards in 2000, while Edwin Watson had 927 yards in 1997 en route to playing in the National Football League. Those totals rank as the sixth- and 11th-best in Purdue history.
At the same time, Downing helped Vinny Sutherland become the top punt returner in school history, averaging 11.6 yards per return and scoring two touchdowns for his career.
The special teams have blocked 19 kicks (11 field goals, five punts and three extra points) and scored four touchdowns (Sutherland?s two punt returns and two via blocked field goals) under Downing.
Before coming to Purdue, Downing spent 10 years at Wyoming. He served as linebackers coach from 1987 to 1994, defensive coordinator from 1991 to 1994 and assistant head coach/running backs/special teams coach in 1995 and 1996. The Cowboys went to two Copper bowls and two Holiday bowls during his tenure. He also was a part of three Western Athletic Conference championship teams in 1987, 1988 and 1993, as well as the Pacific Division-winning squad in 1996.
Downing posted a 4-1 record as the Nebraska freshman coach in 1986 after serving as a graduate assistant in 1984 and 1985. The Cornhuskers had a three-year record of 29-7, won the 1984 Big Eight championship and played in the 1985 and 1987 Sugar bowls and the 1986 Fiesta Bowl.
Downing was an assistant coach at Sterling College in Kansas in 1980 and 1981 and head coach in 1982 and 1983. Sterling was 13-4-1 and ranked in the NAIA top 20 final polls for the first time in school history the latter two years. Downing graduated from Sterling in 1979 with a B.A. in history.
A native of Kansas City, Mo., Downing (born Nov. 7, 1956) and his wife, Karen, have three sons: Matthew, Andrew and Zachary.