Buzz Preston Returns to Stanford as Running Backs Coach
Feb. 21, 2006
Buzz Preston is returning to the Farm for his second tour of duty as a member of the Cardinal's coaching staff. Preston, who previously coached at Stanford from 1999-2001, today was named to Walt Harris' staff as running backs coach.
Following his three years at Stanford, Preston coached running backs at Notre Dame for three seasons (2002-04) under former Cardinal head coach Tyrone Willingham. Preston brings with him over 20 years of coaching experience.
'Obviously to have someone of Buzz' knowledge and experience join our program is a tremendous benefit to our team,' said Harris. 'He is familiar with Stanford and the Pac-10, is an outstanding coach and a great leader. We're thrilled to have him on our staff.'
Preston first came to Stanford in 1999 under Willingham, then left with Willingham to Notre Dame following the 2001 season. During his three years on The Farm, Preston was part of two bowl teams and two of the best teams in Stanford history. He helped the Cardinal win the 1999 Pac-10 Championship and compete in the 2000 Rose Bowl. In 2001, Stanford put together a 9-3 record and was ranked among the top-10 in the naton during the year.
While at Notre Dame, Preston helped lead the Irish to two bowl games during his three years in South Bend.
A native of Los Angeles, Preston, born 11/9/56, was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator/QB coach at UNLV in 1998. Prior to that, he coached running backs at Washington State University from 1994-97. Preston coached at his alma mater, Hawaii, from 1987-93. He coached offensive special teams, receivers, defensive backs and was the strength conditioning coordinator for the Rainbows.
Preston, a 1982 graduate of the University of Hawaii, coached receivers and the defensive backfield at Southern Illinois University from 1984-86. He was a graduate assistant at Hawaii in 1980 and '81, a part-time coach at UH in '82 and a graduate assistant at Washington in 1983.
During his four-year stint at Washington State (1994-97), Preston was part of a coaching staff that guided the Cougars to the Pacific-10 Conference championship in 1997 and its first Rose Bowl appearance in 67 years. The Cougar offense broke the Pac-10 record for most total yards in a single season. One of Preston's pupils, Mike Black, gained over 1,100 yards rushing and was named to the All-Pac-10 team. The Cougars finished 10-2 overall and ranked ninth in the nation.
Preston's seven-year stay at Hawaii included leading the Rainbows to the first two bowl games in school history and the only Western Athletic Conference title ever for UH. While coaching special teams, receivers and defensive backs, Preston's accomplishments included coaching two All-American kickoff return specialists and three of the top six receivers in Hawaii history. In 1989, Hawaii participated in its first bowl game, losing to Michigan State in the Aloha Bowl. The Rainbows won the WAC championship in 1992 and went on to defeat Illinois in the Holiday Bowl.
Preston's first full-time coaching assignment came at Southern Illinois University from 1984-86 as the secondary coach. During his three seasons in Carbondale, SIU's defense improved dramatically during Preston's tenure -- from eighth to second in the conference -- while nine of Preston's pupils received all-conference recognition.
Preston received a bachelor's degree in speech from Hawaii in 1982. The following year, he served as a graduate assistant at the University of Washington. During his career, Preston has been a guest coach for the Toronto Argonauts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Philadelpia Eagles.
A 1975 graduate of Banning High School in Los Angeles, Preston was a two-year letterwinner at Hawaii in 1978 and '79. He and his wife, Audrey, have three children: Amber, Evan and Quinn.