Ted Tollner
Biographical details
Born (1940-05-29) May 29, 1940 (age 80)
San Francisco, California
Alma materCal Poly
Playing career
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
Pac-10 Coach of the Year (1984)

Alfred Theodore Tollner (born May 29, 1940) is a former American football player and coach. He served as head coach at the University of Southern California (USC) from 1983 to 1986 and San Diego State University (SDSU) from 1994 to 2001, compiling an overall college football record of 69–68–1. Tollner also was an assistant coach in the National Football League (NFL) for 15 seasons, including stints as offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions.

Playing careerEdit

Tollner attended California Polytechnic State University, where he was a quarterback on the 1960 team that suffered a plane crash in Toledo, Ohio in which 22 people of the 45 people on board were killed, including 16 of Tollner's teammates.

He was a member of the silver medal winning U.S. baseball team at the 1963 Pan American Games.[1]

Coaching careerEdit

High schoolEdit

Tollner's first coaching job was at Morro Bay High School. He served for a year there before moving on to Woodside High School where he worked one year as offensive coordinator before coming head coach.[2]


Tollner then coached at College of San Mateo from 1968 to 1972. He served as the offensive coordinator for San Diego State under Claude Gilbert from 1973 to 1980. He also served as the quarterbacks coach at Brigham Young (BYU) in 1981.

He became offensive coordinator of the USC Trojans football program under head coach John Robinson in 1982, and succeeded to the head coaching position a year later when Robinson stepped down to take an administrative post at the university.[3] During his four-year tenure Tollner compiled a 26–20–1 record. He led the Trojans to the Pacific-10 conference championship in 1984. That team defeated Ohio State in the 1985 Rose Bowl game. He was replaced as the USC head coach by Larry Smith after the 1986 season after going 1–3 in the UCLA–USC rivalry and 0–4 vs. Notre Dame in the Notre Dame–USC rivalry.

In 1994, he returned to San Diego State, this time as the head coach. He coached there for eight years. Tollner was known for scheduling a tough non-conference schedule including schools like Washington, Wisconsin, USC, Arizona, Arizona State and Oklahoma. His Aztec teams posted eight-win seasons in 1995 and 1996, the first time it reached that level in consecutive years since 1977. In 1998, his Aztecs posted a 7–1 conference record (7–5 overall), grabbed a share of the conference championship, and earned a trip to the Las Vegas Bowl. Overall, he led the Aztecs to a 43–48 record until his firing in 2001.


Tollner served as the wide receivers coach for the Buffalo Bills from 1987 to 1988. He served as the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers from 1989 to 1991. He served as the quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams from 1992 to 1993. In 2002, he then became the quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers. After two successful seasons, he was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2004. When Dennis Erickson was fired as head coach, he was not retained. In 2005, he became the offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions. When Steve Mariucci and several of his assistants were fired 11 weeks into the season, Tollner was demoted to tight ends coach for the remainder of the season.[4]

In late 2006, he was listed[5] as a potential candidate for the head coaching opening for the University of San Diego that later went to Ron Caragher.[6]

In late 2007 it was announced that he would serve as offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers in a late season attempt to revive the lacking offense. In early 2008 Tollner was named quarterbacks coach/assistant to the head coach for the San Francisco 49ers to get a permanent role in the organization again. On December 30, 2008, Tollner was dismissed from the 49ers along with running backs coach Tony Nathan and offensive coordinator Mike Martz.

On February 4, 2009, Tollner was introduced as a part of the Oakland Raiders' coaching staff as he was named the passing game coordinator of the team. When Hue Jackson was hired as the Raiders head coach he dismissed Tollner and several others from their positions.

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
USC Trojans (Pacific-10 Conference) (1983–1986)
1983 USC 4–6–1 4–3 4th
1984 USC 9–3 7–1 1st W Rose 9 10
1985 USC 6–6 5–3 T–4th L Aloha
1986 USC 7–5 5–3 T–4th L Florida Citrus
USC: 26–20–1 21–10
San Diego State Aztecs (Western Athletic Conference) (1994–1998)
1994 San Diego State 4–7 2–6 8th
1995 San Diego State 8–4 5–3 5th
1996 San Diego State 8–3 6–2 T–2nd (Pacific)
1997 San Diego State 5–7 4–4 T–4th (Pacific)
1998 San Diego State 7–5 7–1 T–1st (Pacific) L Las Vegas
San Diego State Aztecs (Mountain West Conference) (1999–2001)
1999 San Diego State 5–6 3–4 T–5th
2000 San Diego State 3–8 3–4 T–5th
2001 San Diego State 3–8 2–5 7th
San Diego State: 43–48 32–29
Total: 69–68–1
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

Coaching treeEdit

Assistant coaches under Ted Tollner who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:


External linksEdit

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