Wade Wilson (American football)

Wade Wilson
Dallas Cowboys
Position: Quarterbacks coach
Personal information
Date of birth: (1959-02-01) February 1, 1959
Place of birth: Greenville, Texas
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)

210 lb (95 kg)

Career information
High school: Commerce (TX)
College: East Texas State
NFL Draft: 1981 / Round: 8 / Pick: 210
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
as coach
Career NFL statistics
TDs–INTs: 99–102
Passing yards: 17,283
Passer rating: 75.6
Attempts: 2,428
Completions: 1,391
Games: 125
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Charles Wade Wilson (born February 1, 1959) is an American football coach and former quarterback who played for the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders in a seventeen-year career from 1981 to 1998 in the National Football League (NFL). He is currently the quarterbacks coach for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football for Texas A&M University-Commerce (formerly East Texas State).

Early years

Wilson was born in Greenville, Texas and lived there shortly, but moved to Commerce, Texas, where he spent most of his childhood. Wilson became a standout quarterback and punter at Commerce High School. As a senior, he led the Tigers to a 10-win season and a district championship. He graduated in 1977.

College career

Wilson accepted a football scholarship offer from Texas A&M University-Commerce (then East Texas State University) and became a three-year starter from 1978 to 1980 for head coach Ernest Hawkins. He led the Lions to a 5–5 record and 2nd-place finish in the Lone Star Conference as a junior, throwing for 1,826 yards and 10 touchdowns.

As a senior in 1980, he completed 116 of 227 passes for 1,978 yards and 19 touchdowns, while leading the Lions to a share of the Lone Star Conference Championship with an 8–3–1 record, its first since winning the National Championship in 1972, and an NAIA playoff berth; the LSC had two conference champions in 1980. ETSU won the title as it was a member of the NAIA, and Texas State University, then called Southwest Texas State University, were the crowned champions by the NCAA. Wilson and the Lions upset the No. 1 ranked Central Arkansas University in the national quarterfinals, but bowed out to Elon College, the eventual national champion, in the semifinal round. The Lions finished 6th in the country. Wilson graduated in 1981 with a degree in Business Management. He finished his college career with 4,616 passing yards, 32 touchdowns and an 18-14-1 record.

He was inducted in the Texas A&M-Commerce Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002 and to the Lone Star Conference Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.

Professional career

Minnesota Vikings

Wilson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the eighth round (210th overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft.

He was mostly the backup to quarterback Tommy Kramer until 1987, when Kramer started 5 games and Wilson 7 contests, including the playoffs, where the Vikings advanced to the NFC Championship Game after a tremendous upset of the 13-2 San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round, finally succumbing 17-10 to the eventual Super Bowl XXII champion Washington Redskins.

In 1988 he had a Pro Bowl season, completing 204 of 332 for 2,746 yards, 15 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.

In 1990 and 1991, he shared the quarterback starting position with Rich Gannon. He was released on July 8, 1992.[1] He finished his Vikings career completing 1,391 passes on 2,428 attempts for 17,283 yards, 99 touchdowns and 102 interceptions.

Atlanta Falcons

On July 13, 1992, he was signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Falcons.[2] He appeared in 9 games and started the last three in place of an injured Chris Miller, while completing 80 of 114 for 1,1040 yards, 13 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

New Orleans Saints

On April 12, 1993, he signed with the New Orleans Saints, who proceeded to cut former starter Bobby Hebert.[3] He earned the starter job over Steve Walsh and although he directed the Saints to a 5-0 winning streak, the team only won three more games to finish at 8-8, which would be Wilson's last season as a starter. On March 17, 1994, the team traded a seventh round draft choice in exchange for Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jim Everett and waived Wilson.[4] Wilson was later re-signed and appeared in 4 games.

Dallas Cowboys

On May 22, 1995, he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys to be the backup quarterback to Troy Aikman.[5] He was a part of the Super Bowl XXX winning team. He only started one game during his three seasons with the Cowboys, when the team played its backups in the 1996 season finale against the Washington Redskins, a 10-37 loss.

Oakland Raiders

On July 6, 1998, he signed with the Oakland Raiders to be the third-string quarterback, although he was later named the backup and even started 3 games in place of Jeff George during the season.[6] In 1999, the Oakland Raiders signed Rich Gannon and Wilson became the third-string quarterback.[7] He retired at the age of 40 in 2000.[8]

Coaching career

Wilson was the Chicago Bears quarterback coach from 2004 until 2006, while reaching Super Bowl XLI. On February 22, 2007, he re-signed with the Cowboys, for whom he was the quarterback coach from 2000 to 2002.[9]

On September 1, 2007, Wilson was suspended five games and fined $100,000 for purchasing and using performance-enhancing drugs.[10] In his defense, Wilson has said that the drug (HGH) was used to help his problem with diabetes. However, Commissioner Goodell seemed to sidestep this defense saying, "First of all, I'm not going to get into the personal situations of why Wade was taking it, but that's not an accurate point."[11]

Personal life

Wilson has four children, Travis Wade, Hayden, and twins Coleton and Sophie.


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