“Coach Tully has dedicated many years of service to the football program,” said Melinda Larson, Whitworth’s Interim Director of Athletics. “We respect and appreciate his accomplishments as our head football coach and wish him well in all of his future endeavors.”
Tully completed his 19th season leading the Pirates with Saturday’s win at Lewis & Clark College. He had a record of 100-83 during his tenure as head coach at Whitworth. The winningest and longest-serving football coach in Whitworth history, Tully was 131-103 in 24 seasons as a head football coach, which includes five years at Eureka College (Ill.). He guided the Pirates to three Northwest Conference titles (2001, 2006, 2007) and was named NWC Coach of the Year each of those seasons. Whitworth completed the 2006 regular season with a 10-0 record and finished 11-1 after a loss in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.
“It has been an honor being the head football coach of Whitworth University for the past 19 years,” Tully said. “I am proud of the accomplishments of our coaching staff during my tenure here and truly appreciate the relationships I built with the players and coaches over the years. I look forward to the professional opportunities this change will bring.”
Prior to Tully’s arrival in 1995, the Pirate program had suffered through 10 losing seasons in the previous 11 years. Tully spent the first three seasons rebuilding as the team finished 1-8 the first two years and 2-7 in 1997. But consecutive 5-5 seasons followed and 2000’s 6-3 record was the school’s first winning mark since 1990. The 61 wins from 2000-2008 are the most in any nine-year stretch in Whitworth history.
“I appreciate John’s dedicated years of service to Whitworth,” said Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor. “John distinguished himself among his peers and had an impact on many generations of Whitworth’s student-athletes.”
Whitworth finished the 2013 season 4-6 overall, 2-4 (fifth place) in the NWC.
“The new head coach will have the freedom to hire his own coaching staff, which may or may not include members of the current staff,” Larson said.
The search for Whitworth’s next head football coach will begin immediately.