A man with nearly half of century of college football experience either as a coach or player, Bob Toledo enters his fifth season as the head coach of the Tulane Green Wave in 2011.
The veteran coach begins his 18th year as a head coach, his 38th year as a collegiate coach and his 41st year as a player or coach. He became the 37th head football coach in school history when he was formally introduced on Monday, December 11, 2006. In 17 seasons as a head collegiate coach, he sports a career coaching record of 91-103 (.478), and a mark of 13-35 in four seasons with the Green Wave.
In Toledo's fourth year, the Green Wave improved its overall record for the third straight year during the 2010 season with a 4-8 overall mark. The season included an improbable 17-14 victory on the road against Big East Conference member Rutgers, a decisive road victory at UTEP, 34-24, and a thrilling, come-from-behind win at home against Rice, 54-49.
The season was highlighted by freshman All-American Orleans Darkwa, who ran for a freshman record 925 yards and scored 11 touchdowns, the 10th-best effort in a single season, and he also threw for two more scores. Tulane boasted the fifth-ranked defense in Conference USA, including the best passing defense unit in the league.
Despite a record of 3-9 during his third campaign, Toledo's 2009 squad featured Tulane's first 1,000-yard rushing and 1,000-yard receiving duo in the same season, the most prolific freshman quarterback in school history and Conference's USA's top-ranked passing defense. Senior running back Andre Anderson was a Doak Walker Award candidate who rumbled for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns, while senior receiver Jeremy Williams was a Fred Belitnikoff Award candidate who made 84 receptions for 1,113 yards and seven scores. Both players played in college football's postseason games, including Anderson in the East-West Shrine Game and Williams was named the South Team MVP in the Under Armour Senior Bowl.
Quarterback Ryan Griffin, who started the last six games of the season, set Tulane freshman record for completions, attempts, passing yardage and touchdowns. TU's secondary allowed its opponents just 218 passing yards per game, which was tops in C-USA. Williams and senior offensive lineman Nick Landry each signed free agent contracts with NFL teams following the season.
Toledo's second-year squad got off to a solid start with a 2-2 mark following a pair close losses to #13 Alabama and a setback in the final minutes to #14 East Carolina, and wins over in-state rival ULM and Conference USA foe SMU. However, devastating injuries began to mount beginning with the loss to Army, and TU did not crack the win column again. Tulane lost 17 players to season-ending injuries. Among the casualties was leading rusher Andre Anderson, who was named a Doak Walker Award candidate after rushing for 864 yards and seven touchdowns through seven games, and top receiver Jeremy Williams, who caught 27 passes for 437 yards and five scores in five games.
Despite the adverse season, Tulane placed a combined three players on the All-Conference USA First and Second Teams and offensive lineman Troy Kropog, who played in the Under Armour Senior Bowl and was drafted in the fourth round by the Tennessee Titans, while center Michael Parenton signed a free agent contract with the New York Jets.
During his first season at the helm of the Green Wave football program, Toledo may have guided Tulane to a 4-8 overall finish, but the final record was not a true indicator of how close the team was to its first bowl in five seasons. The Wave was not only picked to finish last in Conference USA's West Division, but was not expected to win a conference game according to the preseason coaches' poll. Tulane turned in a third-place finish in its division with a 3-5 league mark, but just missed out on a 5-3 year by six total points. In fact, the Green Wave dropped three games by a combined nine points and won two of its last three contests to close out the season.
Despite the tough losses, Toledo still managed to lead Tulane into the national spotlight. Under his offensive philosophy, senior tailback Matt Forté rushed for a school record 2,127 yards, the seventh-best single season total in NCAA history, and he became the 12th player to surpass the 2,000-yard rushing plateau in a single year. Forté earned numerous All-America honors, including second team All-America honors, and was among the contenders for the Heisman Trophy, the Doak Walker and Maxwell Awards, and was named the national player of the week twice and played in the Under Armour Senior Bowl during his lone season under Toledo.
Forté was drafted early in the second round (44th) by the Chicago Bears and became the sixth running back to be selected on a team coached by Toledo since 1974. Forté joined Karim Abdul-Jabbar (UCLA), DeShaun Foster (UCLA), Skip Hicks (UCLA), Lionel Manuel (Pacific) and Derek Williams (Cal-Riverside) to be drafted on a Toledo-coached team.
Toledo has held head coaching posts at four different schools, including stints at Cal Riverside (15-6 with two championships from 1974-75), University of the Pacific (14-30 from 1979-82) and UCLA (1996-2002). He has coached in 13 bowl games during his career, including seven of the traditional New Year's Day bowls.
Toledo, 65, came to Tulane from the University of New Mexico, where he spent the 2006 season as the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the Lobos. During his one year stint in Albuquerque, he led UNM to a 6-6 overall record, a 4-4 finish in the Mountain West Conference (5th place) and to the inaugural New Mexico Bowl.
Under Toledo's tutelage, sophomore running back Rodney Ferguson led the MWC in rushing with 1,132 yards, an average of 94.3 yards per game, and was named first team all-conference. Senior offensive guard Robert Turner and junior wide receiver Travis Brown also received first team accolades. UNM advanced to a bowl despite having to use three different quarterbacks for the first time in 15 years.
Prior to New Mexico, Toledo spent seven years (1996-2002) as the head coach at UCLA where he compiled a 49-32 record overall. The Bruins produced a school-record 20-game winning streak, plus two Pac-10 titles, one Rose Bowl appearance and non-conference victories over Texas (twice), Alabama (twice), Michigan, Ohio State and Texas A&M.
Under Toledo, UCLA went 10-2 in 1998, climbing to No. 2 in the national polls. The Bruins finished the regular season ranked fifth nationally in scoring offense (40.5) and eighth in total offense (482.6). They set school records for total offense (5,487 yards), passing yards (3,658) and passing touchdowns (29), and Toledo was a finalist for three Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards.
Quarterback Cade McNown won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented to the nation's top senior quarterback, and finished third in balloting for the Heisman Trophy. He was the 12th player taken in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.
Offensive tackle Kris Farris won the 1998 Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation's top interior lineman, and was named first team All-America.
The 1997 UCLA team finished 10-2 and ranked No. 5 in the nation after rallying to defeat Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. The Bruins trailed the Aggies 16-0 before making a dramatic second-half comeback to win 29-23. UCLA averaged 40.7 points and more than 430 yards during the regular season.
Defensively, the Bruins ranked second nationally in turnovers caused (39) and turnover margin (+1.8) and led the Pac-10 with 10 interceptions. Punter/place kicker Chris Sailer, offensive tackle Chad Overhauser, tailback Skip Hicks and free safety Shaun Williams were all named first team All-America.
Prior to becoming UCLA head coach in January of 1996, Toledo was the Bruins' offensive coordinator for two seasons (1994-95) under Terry Donahue. Offensive tackle Jonathon Ogden won the Outland Trophy and tailback Karim Abdul-Jabbar was first team All-America in 1995.
Toledo was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for R.C. Slocum at Texas A&M for five years (1989-93). During that span, the Aggies posted a gaudy 49-12-1 record with three Southwest Conference titles and five straight bowl games, including three consecutive Cotton Bowl appearances. His 1990 Aggie offense still holds the school record for total yards in a single game (774 yards on 76 plays against Louisiana-Lafayette) and season game average with 471.1 yards per game that year.
Toledo served as the offensive coordinator at Oregon for six seasons (1983-88), and helped tutor two of the Pac-10's most productive quarterbacks--Chris Miller and Bill Musgrave.
Before his head coaching stint at Pacific, Toledo guided the secondary under John Robinson at Southern Cal from 1976-78. The Trojans went 31-6 in three seasons and were co-national champs after the 1978 campaign. Toledo's most heralded pupils included Dennis Thurman, Ronnie Lott and Dennis Smith.
Toledo's first collegiate head coaching position was at Cal Riverside from 1974-75. The Highlanders were 15-6 and captured a pair of California Collegiate Athletic Association championships.
Toledo's head coaching career began in 1970 at San Francisco's Riordan High School. His teams compiled a three-year record of 26-5-1 and won two Catholic Athletic League titles.
A native of San Jose, Calif., Toledo was a heralded quarterback at Lincoln High School, leading the team to a 27-3 record during his three years as a starter. He enjoyed an outstanding collegiate career as a quarterback at San Jose City College followed by two seasons at San Francisco State in 1966-67. The Gators had a 16-5 record while Toledo was there, winning the Far Western Conference title his senior season. As a senior, Toledo earned Northern California Player of the Year honors and was named second team All-America. He completed 211 of 396 passes for 3,513 yards and 45 touchdowns, setting eight NCAA Div. II records.
Toledo, who had a tryout with the San Francisco 49ers, was inducted into the San Francisco State University Hall of Fame in 1982 and the San Francisco State Gridiron Hall of Fame in 1996.
Toledo and his wife, Elaine, have three daughters, Demetra, Christa and Alissa, and eight grandchildren.
The Bob Toledo File Age: 65 (born March 4, 1946) Birthplace: San Jose, Calif. Family: wife, Elaine; three daughters, Demetra, Christa and Alissa and eight grandchildren Education High School: Lincoln High School (San Jose, Calif.), 1964 College: San Francisco State, 1966-68; received his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1968. Playing Experience High School: A three-year starter at quarterback at Lincoln High School from 1961-63, led the team to a 27-3 record. College: Spent the 1964 season at San Jose State before leaving for nearby San Jose City College, where he was a starter and junior college All-American during the 1965 campaign. He transferred to San Francisco State for the 1966 and 1967 campaigns. He was a two-year starter at quarterback at SFSU, where he led the Gators to a 16-5 overall record and guided his squad to a Far Western Conference title. He was named the Northern California Player of the Year and earned second-team All-America honors during his senior season after completing 211 of 396 pass attempts for 3,513 yards and 45 touchdowns, which set eight NCAA Division II records. He played in the Camillia Bowl vs. San Diego State and the North-South All-Star game in 1967. He was inducted into the San Francisco State Hall of Fame in 1982 and the San Francisco State Gridiron Hall of Fame in 1996. Professional: Played briefly with the San Francisco 49ers in 1968.
Coaching Experience: 1969 - Head Freshman Coach, Riordan HS, San Francisco 1970-72 - Head Varsity Coach, Riordan HS, San Francisco (26-5-1) 1973 - Offensive Coordinator, Cal Riverside 1974-75 - Head Coach, Cal Riverside (15-6) 1976-78 - Secondary Coach, Southern California 1979-82 - Head Coach, University of the Pacific (14-30) 1983-88 - Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, Oregon 1989-93 - Offensive Coordinator, Texas A&M 1994-95 - Offensive Coordinator, UCLA 1996-02 - Head Coach, UCLA (49-32) 2006 - Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, New Mexico 2007-Present - Head Coach, Tulane (13-35)
Butch Johnson (UC-Riverside), Dallas Cowboys
Dennis Thurman (USC), Dallas Cowboys
Ronnie Lott (USC), San Francisco 49ers
Dennis Smith (USC), Denver Broncos
Anthony Munoz (USC), Cincinnati Bengals
Chris Miller (Oregon), Atlanta Falcons
Bill Musgrave (Oregon), Dallas Cowboys
Gary Zimmerman (Oregon), New York Giants
Bucky Richardson (Texas A&M), Houston Oilers
Darren Lewis (Texas A&M), Chicago Bears
Greg Hill (Texas A&M), Kansas City Chiefs
Rodney Thomas (Texas A&M), Houston Oilers
Richmond Webb (Texas A&M), Miami Dolphins
Skip Hicks (UCLA), Washington Redskins
Cade McNown (UCLA), Chicago Bears
Karim Abdul-Jabbar (UCLA), Miami Dolphins
Jonathan Ogden (UCLA), Baltimore Ravens
Kris Farris (UCLA), Pittsburgh Steelers
Mercedes Lewis (UCLA), Jacksonville Jaguars
J.J. Stokes (UCLA), San Francisco 49ers
Freddie Mitchell (UCLA), Philadelphia Eagles
Danny Farmer (UCLA), Pittsburgh Steelers
DeShawn Foster (UCLA), Carolina Panthers
Ricky Manning Jr. (UCLA), Carolina Panthers
Matt Forte (Tulane), Chicago Bears
Troy Kropog (Tulane), Tennessee Titans
Michael Parenton (Tulane), New York Jets
Jeremy Williams (Tulane), Philadelphia Eagles
Pete Hendrickson (Tulane), Houston Texans
Phillip Davis (Tulane), San Francisco 49ers