Bottoms Up! Former Titan Enjoys View From the Top

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Minnesota Twins went from last place to first in a season. Bill Wentworth might do the same.

Wentworth was Cal State Fullerton's offensive coordinator in 1990, when the Titans were 1-11 and ranked last among all NCAA Division I-A teams. He left the Titans in March and took the job as receivers coach for the University of Washington football team.

With the Huskies' 34-14 victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl Wednesday, Wentworth became part of a team that figures to finish atop at least one of the final polls, which are scheduled to be released today. The Huskies are tied with Miami on the USA Today/CNN poll and are ranked first by United Press International, The Sporting News and Football News.

"To have an undefeated season any year is incredible," Wentworth said. "To go from the tough season I was around last year to have a season like this is beyond anything you can expect."

Wentworth, 33, was the Titans' secondary coach in 1988, and the quarterback coach and offensive coordinator his final two seasons. Under Wentworth's guidance in 1989, the Titans set 43 offensive records and tied five others in finishing 6-4-1, doubling their combined victory total of 1990 and 1991.

Wentworth decided to leave Fullerton because of the opportunity to work with a nationally ranked, Pacific 10 Conference program.

Unlike at Fullerton, where his concerns included fund-raising and keeping the program afloat, Wentworth does not have those worries at Washington.

"We have the support personnel and the kind of budget where we can concentrate on coaching football and recruiting," said Wentworth. "If you're going on a recruiting trip, you say you need a flight and that's it. At Fullerton, we only had person on that and you had to do a lot of things for yourself.

"As for the on-the-field stuff, it's remarkable how similar coaching can be. I certainly enjoyed the time I was at Fullerton, but we certainly didn't have the chance to have this kind of success."

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