ASU Football Hires Roy Wittke To Be Offensive Coordinator

Jan. 13, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State University Head Football Coach Dirk Koetter announced Friday that he has named Roy Wittke as Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach. Wittke comes to Arizona State after having spent the past three seasons at the University of Arkansas in the same capacity. Wittke takes the place of Mark Helfrich, who was named Offensive Coordinator at Colorado last month.

Wittke will help coach an offense that ranked third in the nation in passing in 2005, averaging 373.4 yards per game. ASU also had the second ranked total offense, gaining more than 519 yards per contest. He inherits two of the top returning quarterbacks in the country. Junior Sam Keller threw for 2,165 yards and 20 touchdowns in eight games before having season ending surgery on his thumb. Redshirt freshman Rudy Carpenter took over for the injured Keller and led the nation in passing efficiency, finishing the season with a quarterback efficiency rating of 175.0. Carpenter threw for 2,273 yards and 17 touchdowns (just two interceptions) and led the Sun Devils to a 4-1 record as a starter.

'We are extremely pleased to be able to bring a coach with the experience and background of Roy Wittke into our program,' said Koetter. 'Roy is very well thought of throughout the coaching ranks and is an excellent recruiter. I spoke with several candidates, interviewed three and I was really impressed by Roy's offensive knowledge and how it meshes with ours. I know he will step in here and help us continue our offensive success.

'One of the people I spoke to about this position was former Sun Devil great quarterback Danny White,' said Koetter. 'The timing just wasn't right for what he is doing right now with the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League, but it's great to know that a guy like Danny is in full support of what we are doing at ASU.'

'My son Alex played for Roy for two years at Arkansas,' says ESPN's NFL Insider Chris Mortensen, 'and we feel like he could not have received any better coaching, instruction and mentoring from anyone else. Roy has a history of developing quarterbacks. He has a tremendous understanding and grasp of offense and he possesses the absolute right temperament for teaching offense. He will be an amazing complement to Coach Koetter. Above all, Roy is an outstanding man of integrity, character and on top of that he is a great recruiter. This hire is a big bonus for ASU.'

'I am thrilled to have a chance to work with an outstanding coaching staff at Arizona State University,' says Wittke. 'I am especially excited to work with one of the most well-respected offensive minds in the country in Dirk Koetter. I want to contribute to the success of the program and I cannot wait to get started.'

In 2004 Wittke coached Razorback quarterback Matt Jones to an All-Southeastern Conference performance as Jones finished second in the league in total offense (245.0). Jones ended his career as the SEC's all-time quarterback rushing leader with 2,648 yards and was taken in the first round of the NFL Draft by Jacksonville.

Under Wittke, Jones closed his career by finishing high on several Arkansas career lists, including sixth in rushing, second in passing (5,857), tied for seventh in rushing touchdowns (24), first in career average yards per rush (6.93), second in passing touchdowns (53), third in pass completions (417), first in total offense (8,505) and first in touchdown responsibility (77). Jones set Arkansas quarterback rushing records three times in four years.

Last year Arkansas was 12th nationally in rushing (216.9 yards per game) and was 66th in total offense (360.6) and 65th in scoring offense (25.7).

In 2004 Arkansas was third in the SEC and 33rd in the nation in scoring (29.8), second in the league and No. 22 overall in rushing (187.4), fourth in the conference and No. 28 in the nation in pass efficiency (137.5), fifth in the SEC in passing (210.5) and fifth in the conference and No. 36 in the country in total offense (397.9).

n 2003, Wittke's guidance helped Jones set what were then career-bests in yards passing (1,917), completions (132), touchdown passes (18), completion percentage (57.4) and efficiency (147.1). Jones also broke the Arkansas quarterback rushing record for the third-consecutive season. Jones topped those passing yardage (2,073) and completion numbers (151) in 2004.

The Razorbacks were third in the SEC and 21st nationally in scoring, averaging 33.5 points per game.

Arkansas was also tied for the fewest interceptions (nine) in the league.

In addition, Wittke helped mold quarterback Ryan Sorahan into a pro prospect. Sorahan split time as a starter throughout his career and signed a free agent contract with the New Orleans Saints following his senior season in 2003.

Wittke, who has 26 years of collegiate coaching experience, spent the previous 13 seasons at Eastern Illinois, serving as the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks and running backs coach.

he Panthers recorded back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference championships (2001 and 2002) and three-consecutive Division I-AA playoff appearances. Wittke was named the 2002 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division I-AA Assistant Coach of the Year.

Wittke guided an EIU offense that ranked fourth in the nation in scoring offense (35.3 ppg.) and ranked fifth in total offense (452.6 ypg.) in 2002.

Wittke coached 2002 Walter Payton Award (Division I-AA Most Valuable Player) winner and three-time OVC Player of the Year Tony Romo at quarterback. Romo also was named as a first-team All-American following the 2002 campaign. Five other quarterbacks received all-conference honors under Wittke's tutelage at EIU.

During Wittke's 13-year tenure at EIU, the Panthers compiled a record of 82-65-1, including a 25-10 mark in the last three campaigns. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Wittke served as recruiting coordinator and academic liaison in his time with the Panthers.

For his last five years, he served as the chairman of the AFCA Division I-AA Assistant Coaches Committee as well as serving on the AFCA all-divisions coaching committee.

Prior to his employment at EIU, Wittke spent five seasons at Central Missouri State. Hired as the quarterbacks coach, he spent the final four seasons as the Mules' offensive coordinator. In 1986, the Mules set a school record with 23 touchdown passes.

Wittke coached running backs at Montana State from 1982-84. His first coaching assignment came as an undergraduate student assistant coach working with tight ends and wide receivers at Wisconsin Eau-Claire from 1979-81.

Originally from Racine, Wis., Wittke earned an undergraduate degree from Wisconsin Eau-Claire in 1982. He and his wife Patty have two sons, Brad (11/17/87) and Jeff (12/21/89), and a daughter, Bekah (10/29/91).

BORN: June 15, 1959
FAMILY: wife Patty; daughter Bekah (10/29/91); sons Brad (11/17/87) and Jeff (12/21/89)
EDUCATION William Horlick HS (1977) Wisconsin Eau-Claire - B.A. in business education (1982)
COACHING HISTORY 1979-81 Wisconsin Eau-Claire (undergraduate assistant - tight ends, wide receivers)
1982-84 Montana State (assistant coach - running backs)
1985 Central Missouri State (assistant coach - quarterbacks)
1986-89 Central Missouri State (offensive coordinator - quarterbacks)
1990-2002 Eastern Illinois (assistant head coach / offensive coordinator - quarterbacks, running backs)
2003- Arkansas (assistant coach - quarterbacks, passing game coordinator) POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE (Div. I-A only) Assistant Coach Arkansas 2003 Independence Bowl

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