A key component in Georgia State’s productive passing attack, veteran receivers coach Tim Lappano came to GSU in 2014 bringing extensive experience in major college programs and the National Football League.
Lappano served as GSU's interim head coach for the final two games of 2016, leading the Panthers to a 30-24 victory over rival Georgia Southern in Georgia State's final game at the Georgia Dome.
In his three years (2014-16) on the staff, seven GSU receivers earned all-conference honors, including 2015 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year Penny Hart. Robert Davis was a three-time selection, while Donovan Harden was a two-time all-conference player, along with 2014 honoree LynQuez Blair. Outstanding receivers helped the GSU quarterback lead the Sun Belt in passing in each of Lappano's three seasons.
The trio of Hart, Davis and Harden combined for 171 receptions, 2,804 yards and 19 touchdowns to help the Panthers to their first bowl berth in 2015. In 2016, the receiver corps remained very productive despite season-ending injuries to two starters.
Lappano joined head coach Trent Miles' staff after five seasons with the NFL’s Detroit Lions, where he coached All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson in 2013. He coached the Lions’ tight ends the previous four years and worked with Brandon Pettigrew, who had more than 70 receptions in back-to-back seasons.
Lappano made an immediate impact at Georgia State, tutoring the Panthers’ most productive position as junior Donovan Harden, sophomore Robert Davis and senior LynQuez Blair earned All-Sun Belt Conference honors in 2014.
Lappano coached with Miles for three seasons at Washington, where he served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2005-08. Miles was on that offensive staff as running backs coach from 2005-07 before taking the head coaching job at Indiana State.While at Washington, Lappano recruited and mentored future NFL first-round draft pick Jake Locker.
In addition to his most recent stint with the Lions, Lappano has NFL experience with the San Francisco 49ers, where he served as running backs coach from 2003-04, and the Seattle Seahawks, where he coached running backs in 1998.
Lappano has spent 16 years with college programs in major conferences, mostly in the Pacific-10 (now Pacific-12) Conference. He served as offensive coordinator at Oregon State from 1999-2002, as assistant head coach and running backs coach at California from 1992-95, and as assistant coach at Washington State from 1987-92, including the final two years as offensive coordinator. He also spent one year (1997) as the co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Purdue, where he helped recruit and coach Brees.
He began his coaching career as the running backs coach at Idaho, his alma mater, from 1982-85, and he spent two seasons at Wyoming in separate stints, coaching running backs in 1986 and wide receivers in 1996.
Lappano, 58, earned his bachelor’s degree from Idaho in 1983. He played for head coach Dennis Erickson, under whom he later coached at Idaho, Washington State and Oregon State as well as in the NFL with Seattle and San Francisco.
Lappano and his wife, Sandi, have two children, Taylor and Kyle.