George Yarno
George Yarno
No. 68, 66
Personal information
Born:(1957-08-12)August 12, 1957
Spokane, Washington
Died:August 8, 2016(2016-08-08) (aged 58)
Spokane, Washington [1][2]
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school:Spokane Ferris (WA) &
East Anchorage (AK)
College:Washington State
Career history
As player:
* Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1979–1983)
As coach:
* Washington State (1991–1994)
Offensive line coach
  • Idaho (1995–1997)
    Offensive coordinator & offensive line coach
  • Houston (1998–1999)
    Assistant head coach & offensive line coach
  • Arizona State (2000)
    Offensive line coach
  • Louisiana State (2001–2002)
    Offensive line coach
  • Washington State (2003–2007)
    Offensive line coach
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2008)
    Assistant offensive line coach
  • Detroit Lions (2009–2012)
    Offensive line coach
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (2013–2014)
    Offensive line coach
  • Career NFL statistics
    Player stats at

    George Anthony Yarno (August 12, 1957 – August 8, 2016)[1] was a professional football player, a guard for ten seasons in the National Football League with Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Houston. He also played two seasons with the Denver Gold of the USFL.[3]

    Yarno worked as an offensive line coach for a number of collegiate and professional teams. After his release from the Detroit Lions following the 2012 season, Yarno accepted the offensive line coach job with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013.

    Early years Edit

    Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, Yarno was one of six children; his mother Wanda died in 1962 when he was just five.[4][5] His older brother John (b. 1954) was an All-American center at Idaho,[6] and later a five-year starter in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks.

    George attended Gonzaga Preparatory School as a freshman, then spent two years in Alaska with his father and went to East Anchorage High School.[7] He returned to Ferris for his senior year and graduated in 1975,[8] then played four years at Washington State University in Pullman under four head coaches (Jim Sweeney, Jackie Sherrill, Warren Powers, and Jim Walden), as a nose tackle and defensive tackle.[9]

    Professional playing careerEdit

    Unselected in the 1979 NFL Draft, Yarno was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a rookie free agent in 1979 and made the team on the other side of the ball, as a reserve offensive lineman.[10][11] He was a starting offensive lineman a majority of his career, including starts at tackle, guard, and center.[12]


    Despite being an offensive lineman, Yarno scored one point in his NFL career, an extra point in the closing moments of the 1983 season at Detroit on December 18, indoors at the Pontiac Silverdome. As the team's emergency kicker, the straight-on left-footed Yarno entered the game with 77 seconds to play and down by four points. Head coach John McKay had removed the newly signed placekicker,[13] barefooted Dave Warnke,[14] after two consecutive poor kicks: a failed extra point late in the first half and an unattractive low spinning field goal attempt in the third quarter from 29 yards, when the score was tied at 13.[15] Following Yarno's successful conversion, heartily celebrated by his fellow linemen, division champion Detroit recovered the subsequent onside kick and ran out the clock to win the game by three points, 23–20, and hapless Tampa Bay finished the year at 2–14.[16][17]


    Coaching career Edit

    College assistantEdit

    Following his career as a player, Yarno entered the coaching ranks as a collegiate assistant at Washington State University; he coached the offensive line under head coach Mike Price from 1991 to 1994. He moved eight miles (13 km) east to the University of Idaho in 1995 as offensive coordinator and line coach under first-year head coach Chris Tormey. After three seasons in Moscow, Yarno left for the University of Houston in 1998 to become the assistant head coach (and offensive line coach) under head coach Kim Helton. In 2000, he was the offensive line coach for Arizona State University for a season, Bruce Snyder's last as head coach, then spent two seasons at LSU under head coach Nick Saban, again as offensive line coach. In 2003, Yarno returned to Washington State to coach the offensive line under first-year head coach Bill Doba. Following Doba's dismissal after the 2007 season, he became a coach at the professional level.

    NFL assistantEdit

    Yarno became an NFL assistant coach in 2008 as the assistant offensive line coach with Tampa Bay, his first professional team as a player. After a season in Tampa, Yarno joined the coaching staff of the Detroit Lions in 2009 as offensive line coach. He was recommended by offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, a former Idaho quarterback, whom Yarno had been recommended to by Nick Saban. Following a disappointing 4-12 season from the Detroit Lions after making the playoffs the year prior, Yarno was released as an assistant coach after the 2012 season. He was named the Jaguars offensive line coach on January 24, 2013.[18] On January 20, 2015, the Jacksonville Jaguars hired former Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone replacing Yarno as offensive line coach. Marrone's hiring means offensive line coach George Yarno will not return to the Jaguars in 2015, according to a team spokesman. The Jaguars announced on May 29, 2015 that Yarno had been diagnosed with cancer (stomach) and was receiving treatment. He remained under contract.[19] Yarno died in Spokane at age 58 on August 8, 2016.[2]


    1. 1.0 1.1 "George Anthony Yarno (1957-2016)". Spokesman-Review. (obituary) ((Spokane, Washington)). August 9, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
    2. 2.0 2.1 Blanchette, John (August 8, 2016). "George Yarno, former NFL, WSU football player and Ferris graduate, dies at age 58". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)). Retrieved September 20, 2016.
    3. St. Petersburg Evening Independent - Bucs expect players in USFL to try for release from contracts - August 5, 1986 - p.4C
    4. "Wanda Lee Gregory Yarno". Find a Grave. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
    5. "Yarno, Wanda Lee". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (death notices) ((Washington)): p. 17. December 11, 1962.
    6. Missildine, Harry (September 27, 1976). "Yarno vs. Yarno: brothers jaw-to-jaw". Spokesman Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 15.,4857948.
    7. Payne, Bob (November 12, 1975). "Yarnos not delighted by prospect". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. 16.,5208856.
    8. Drosendahl, Glenn (November 12, 1975). "Yarno brothers don't like the idea". Lewiston Morning Tribune ((Idaho)): p. B1.
    9. Emerson, Paul (November 2, 1978). "Let George do it". Lewiston Morning Tribune ((Idaho)): p. 1B.
    10. Ledman, Gary (July 16, 1979). "George Yarno: he smiled and ate his way into camp". St. Petersburg Evening Independent ((Florida)): p. C1.,145365.
    11. Tierney, Mike (December 21, 1979). "Yarno gets cash, thanks from McKay". St. Petersburg Times ((Florida)): p. 1C.
    12. "Houston signs free agent George Yarno". Spokesman-Review ((Spokane, Washington)): p. C2. March 31, 1989.
    13. Lasswell, Doug (December 19, 1983). "Lions end Bucs' season of shame 23-20". Sarasota Herald-Tribune: p. 10B.
    14. "The worst kicker in franchise history". Buc Power. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
    15. Taylor, Jim (December 19, 1983). "Lions defeat Tampa Bay". Toledo Blade ((Ohio)): pp. 22–23.
    16. "NFC". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press ((Spokane, Washington)): pp. 21–23. December 19, 1983.
    17. "Bucs 20 Lions 23 - The Game Report". Buc Power. December 18, 1983. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
    18. Birkett, Dave (December 31, 2012). "Lions cut ties with assistant coaches Shawn Jefferson, Sam Gash, George Yarno". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
    19. "Doug Marrone joins Jags' staff". Retrieved January 20, 2015.

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