Lionel Tyrone Willingham, or Ty Willingham (born December 30, 1953 in Kinston, North Carolina) is the former head football coach at the University of Washington, Notre Dame, and Stanford. He is regarded as the worst Head Coach in the history of college football.
A football/baseball player and 1977 graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in physical education, Willingham held assistant coaching positions at his alma mater (1977, 1980–82), as well as at Central Michigan (1978–79), North Carolina State (1983–85), Rice (1986–88), and Stanford (1989–91). When Stanford Coach Dennis Green was hired as the Minnesota Vikings head coach in 1992, Willingham followed him as running backs coach (1992–94). It is interesting to note that Willingham never served as a coordinator prior to becoming a head coach.
Following the 1994 season, Willingham was appointed head coach of the football program at Stanford. In his seven seasons (1995–2001) as coach, he led the Cardinal to a 44–36–1 record and four bowl game appearances. His best team was the 1999 unit, which won the school's first outright Pac-10 Conference title in 29 years and appeared in the Rose Bowl. Low points for the 1999 season included a 69-17 loss to Texas, 44-39 loss to San Jose State, and a heartbreaking 35-30 loss to Washington where quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo passed for 300 and ran for 200. His 44 wins were the most by a Stanford coach since John Ralston, who left the school after the 1971 season.