Ellis Rainsberger, a Tennessee Titans scout for five seasons, passed away last weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo., the franchise announced Thursday.
Rainsberger was 88.
A former college head coach who also worked in multiple professional leagues, he was with the Titans from 2000-04, scouted the Midwest for one season (2000) and the East for the next four years. Among the players drafted during that period were linebacker Keith Bulluck (first round, 2000), defensive tackle Robaire Smith (sixth round, 2000), defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (first round, 2002) and defensive tackle Randy Starks (third round, 2004).
He came to Tennessee after having scouted for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. He retired in 2007 after three seasons as a scout with the Miami Dolphins.
Rainsberger was a head coach for three college programs, Washburn (1962-64), Southern Illinois (1966) and Kansas State (1975-77), where he played in the 1950s and was a two-time all-conference selection. He was a combined 27-42-1.
He also went 1-7 as interim head coach for the Pittsburgh Maulers of the United States Football League over the second half of the 1984 season.
Rainsberger’s coaching career, which spanned all or part of five decades, included stops as an assistant for multiple college programs as well as teams in the USFL and the Canadian Football League. His most notable positions included a two-year run as offensive coordinator at the University of Wisconsin (1973-74) and three years as an assistant at Toledo, one under Nick Saban (1990).
Before he got into coaching, he played one season of professional football in the CFL.
Funeral services were held Thursday, and he will be buried Monday at Nebraska City, Nebraska.