SEATTLE — Nicknamed “The King,” former Seattle Seahawks assistant coach Rusty Tillman has died. He was 75.
Tillman was a former NFL linebacker for the Washington Redskins. He retired in 1977 and joined the Seahawks in 1979. Tillman spent 16 years with the team, coaching special teams, tight ends and linebackers before becoming the defensive coordinator.
He was also the head coach of the XFL’s New York/New Jersey Hitmen during the leagues’ first attempt at success in 2001. He was reportedly uninterested in Vince McMahon’s “sports entertainment” approach to football and refused to partake in any publicity stunts, including former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura referring to Tillman as “Gutless Rusty.”