Billy Gonzales, who has been part of two national championships, is in his second year as LSU’s passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach in 2011. Prior to joining the LSU staff, Gonzales spent five years coaching the wide receivers at Florida where he helped the Gators to national titles in 2006 and 2008.
Gonzales’ impact on the passing game can be seen with the continued development of LSU’s leading receiver Rueben Randle (50 rec., 904 yards, 8 TDs) along with the emergence of true freshman Odell Beckham Jr., who ranked second on the team with 36 receptions for 437 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Gonzales joined the Tigers in December of 2009, helping LSU prepare for its Capital One Bowl contest against Penn State. Gonzales spent his first full season with the Tigers in 2010 where he continued to coach Russell Shepard in his transition from quarterback to wide receiver while also grooming Randle to become LSU’s primary target in 2011. Shepard and Randle, both sophomores in 2010, each caught 33 passes, while senior Terrence Toliver led the team in receptions (41), yards (579) and TDs (5).
Prior to his arrival in Baton Rouge, Gonzales coached under Urban Meyer at three different schools – Bowling Green, Utah, and Florida – since 2001. Gonzales coached for two years at Bowling Green under Meyer, and alongside current LSU offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, before moving on with Meyer to Utah for the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Gonzales arrived at Florida in 2005, and during his five years with the Gators, he sent seven players to the NFL Draft, including 2009 first round pick Percy Harvin and Chad Jackson, a second round selection by the New England Patriots in 2007.
From 2005 to 2008, Florida produced two first-team All-SEC wide receivers and a pair of second-team all-conference receivers.
In two years at Utah, Gonzales helped the Utes to a 22-2 overall mark and a pair of bowl victories, including a 35-7 win over Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. Offensively, Utah averaged 499.8 yards and 45.3 points per game in 2004, both of which ranked No. 3 in the nation that year.
In addition to his role as Utah’s wide receivers coach, Gonzales also served as the special teams coordinator for the Utes. In 2003, Utah led the nation in kickoff returns with a 28.2 average and they were third in the nation in net punting (40.8 yards) and fifth in the country in kickoff returns (26.2) in 2004.
Gonzales spent 2001 and 2002 at Bowling Green, serving as wide receivers coach and co-recruiting coordinator. The Falcons were 17-6 in his two years at the school and in 2002, Bowling Green ranked No. 3 in the nation with 48.0 points per game. The Falcons also averaged 448.9 yards per game in 2002, a figure that ranked No. 9 nationally.
Gonzales broke into full-time coaching at the Division I level in 1997 at Kent State, where he spent four years with the Golden Flashes coaching running backs in 1997, before moving to wide receivers for the next three years. Gonzales coached for two years as a graduate assistant at Kent State from 1995-96, where he received his master’s degree in Sports Administration.
Gonzales’ first coaching job came in 1994 at MacMurray (Ill.) as the wide receivers coach.
A four-year letterwinner at Colorado State and a two-year starter at wide receiver, Gonzales helped the Rams to a 9-4 record in 1990 and a win over Oregon in the Freedom Bowl that year. Gonzales is a 1994 graduate of Colorado State University. He’s married to the former Julie Hall and the couple has two children, Cole and Caylynn.
The Billy Gonzales File
Year at LSU: Second (appointed Dec. 11, 2009)
Birthdate: July 18, 1971
Wife: former Julie Hall
Children: Cole and Caylynn
College: Colorado State, 1994
1990-93 Colorado State (wide receiver/return specialist)
1994 MacMurray (Ill.) (wide receivers)
1995-96 Kent State (graduate assistant – offense)
1997-2000 Kent State (running backs, 1997; wide receivers/recruiting coordinator, 1998-2000)
2001-02 Bowling Green (wide receivers, 2001; wide receivers/co-recruiting coordinator, 2002)
2003-04 Utah (wide receivers/special teams coordinator)
2005-09 Florida (wide receivers, 2005-07; wide receivers/recruiting coordinator, 2008-09)
2010-11 LSU (passing game coordinator, wide receivers)
As a player
Year Bowl Team Opponent Results
1990 Freedom Colorado State Oregon W, 32-31
As a coach
Year Bowl Team Opponent Results
2003 Liberty Utah Southern Miss W, 17-0
2005 Fiesta Utah Pittsburgh W, 35-7
2006 Outback Florida Iowa W, 31-24
2007 BCS Natl. Champ. Florida Ohio State W, 41-14
2008 Capital One Florida Michigan L, 41-34
2009 BCS Natl. Champ. Florida Oklahoma W, 24-14
2010 Capital One LSU Penn State L, 19-17
2011 Cotton LSU Texas A&M W, 41-24