Here’s a story that’s going to slip through the cracks amid the daily goings on of the NFL: Ted Tollner is retiring. Maybe.
If you don’t know who Toller is, you should. He was probably a coach on your favorite team. He passed through every coaching portal there is: high school, junior college, college and the NFL. But now, at age 70, it looks like he’s saying goodbye.
The San Diego Union-Tribune? reports that Tollner is finally planning to hang ‘em up after 47 years of coaching, although his wife Barbara says he’s retired twice previously and come back.
But here’s the giveaway this time: Tollner, who was recently fired by the Oakland Raiders after serving as their passing-game coordinator for two years, has turned down two NFL job offers. He’s currently living in San Diego, which isn’t a bad spot to kick back and enjoy retirement.
Here’s a partial list of teams Tollner has worked for: San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and Raiders. He also coached USC in three Rose Bowls, San Diego State and BYU. In all, the Union-Tribune reports he’s made 24 coaching stops since 1963.
“He’d be the first to tell you he’s had a lot of success and a number of failures,” Tom Cable, the former Raiders coach, said. “Somewhere in between all of that, you kind of find your place. He’s been able to do that. It blows me away almost daily what he knows, how much he knows, what he adds to a team or a staff. His experience is incredible. For any young coach, it’s worth picking up the phone and calling him just to pick his brain, just to talk.”
So has Tollner made his final stop? Is he retired for good? “Right now, the answer is yes,” he said.