2009 Assistant Coach of the Year Winners

The American Football Coaches Association is proud to announce its 2009 Assistant Coach of the Year winners. One assistant coach from the five divisions of college football has been selected for their dedication to their teams and communities.

Each year, staff representatives from NCAA and NAIA football-playing schools are asked to nominate an assistant for consideration. From those nominations, a winner is selected by the AFCA Public Relations Committee. The winners of this award were selected from Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the NAIA.

The Assistant Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1997 and was created to honor assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement. 

The 2009 honorees are as follows: Football Bowl Subdivision–Mike MacIntyre, Defensive Coordinator, Duke University; Football Championship Subdivision–Mark Speir, Defensive Ends Coach & Recruiting Coordinator, Appalachian State University; Division II–David Needs, Quarterbacks Coach, Carson-Newman College; Division III–Jeff Thomas, Offensive Coordinator & Quarterbacks Coach, University of Redlands; and NAIA–Josh Gehring, Offensive Coordinator, Morningside College.

“Once again, five outstanding assistant coaches have been selected for their dedication, not only to their teams, but to their communities,” said Executive Director Grant Teaff. “Often times, the head coach receives much of the credit for his team’s success, but any head coach is only as good as his assistants. Much of an assistant coach’s work is done behind the scenes. It is our pleasure to bring it to the forefront.”

The criteria for the award is not limited to on-field coaching ability or the success of the team and players that these assistant coaches work with. Service to the community through charitable work and other volunteer activities, participation in AFCA activities and events, participation in other professional organizations and impact on student-athletes are all taken into account in the selection process.

Winners of the Assistant Coach of the Year Award will receive a plaque to commemorate the award and an educational stipend to attend the 2011 AFCA Convention or another professional development clinic/convention of their choice. They will be honored at the AFCA Kickoff Luncheon, Monday, January 11 at the 2010 AFCA Convention in Orlando, Fla.


2009 Assistant Coach of the Year Winners

Football Bowl Subdivision
Mike MacIntyre, Defensive Coordinator, Duke: MacIntyre has been coaching football for 20 years, the last two at Duke ... He is involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, serving in various capacities over the years at both the boys camp and coaches camp ... MacIntyre has also spoken at various FCA events, and at rallies for Students Standing Strong ... He ran and worked a kids summer camp while as an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys ... He is also a Deacon in his church ... Mentored such as athletes as Von Hutchings, who was a third string receiver at Mississippi until MacIntyre asked him to move to defensive back, where he started three seasons and still plays in the NFL ... MacIntyre helped former Ole Miss wide receiver L.J. Taylor get his start as a high school coach ... He engages his student-athletes with “life lessons” before each film study, and challenges each of them to implement those lessons in their daily lives ... His success as a coach includes coaching in five bowl games, two NFL playoff appearances with the Dallas Cowboys, and coached numerous All-Conference and Pro Bowl players.

Football Championship Subdivision
Mark Speir, Defensive Ends Coach & Recruiting Coordinator, Appalachian State: Speir is in his 24th year of coaching and has spent the last seven years at Appalachian State ... He ran the Music City Marathon in 2008 and the Boston Marathon in 2009 to help raise over $27,000 for World Medical Mission, which is a branch of Samaritan’s Purse Organization. The money was raised to rebuild Christian Mission Hospital in Bangladesh ... Speir also spent 10 days in Bangladesh, working at the hospital he helped raised money for and brought them medical equipment ... He helped raise over $45,000 for a local youth recreation league so they could build new athletic facilities, and also helped raise money for a local homeless shelter through Celebrity Serve ... Speir takes his players to local churches and youth organizations to speak ... Speir was a member of the AFCA Summer Manual Committee ... He has been a part of three straight national championships for Appalachian State (2005, 2006, 2007) and coached four All-American defensive linemen and 10 All-Southern Conference players.

Division II
David Needs, Quarterbacks Coach, Carson-Newman: Needs is in his 14th season at Carson-Newman and 17th overall as an assistant coach ... For the last six years, he has run a free, week-long camp at Manley Weekday Day Care for school age children, teaching them how to run and play football ... Needs is an advisor for Mortar Board Senior Honor Society at Carson-Newman, and has helped with many service projects such as teddy bears for sick children, visiting senior homes and shut-ins and reading to children at various elementary schools ... He leads and sponsors the “Cereal Bowl,” a charity flag football game between redshirt football players and faculty which has raised thousands of dollars and thousands of boxes of cereal for needy families ... Needs is also a FCA One Way to Play spokesperson/organizer since 1996, where he takes student-athletes to area schools to warn the children about the dangers in using drugs and alcohol ... He has been a member of the AFCA Summer Manual Committee ... Twenty-five of his former position players are involved in teaching or coaching ... Needs has also been the head track coach at Carson-Newman since 1997 and has coached in three national title games and been a part of 10 conference titles in football.

Division III
Jeff Thomas, Offensive Coordinator & Quarterbacks Coach, Redlands: Thomas has spent seven years as an assistant coach, all at Redlands ... He leads the community service component of the Redlands football team, which has been instrumental in the collection of blankets (500-plus) and top ramen soup (three pick-up loads) for the county mission ... Thomas led two team trips to New Orleans for Katrina relief help and coordinated a week-long building effort for Habitat for Humanity ... He has also organized the team’s effort to participate in a “re-forestation” of a local forest after it was decimated by fire ... Thomas has served on the AFCA Assistant Coaches Committee and the Program Committee ... He helps out around the Redlands campus by being a part of the Community Service Committee, Athletic Department Recruiting liaison and Athletic Department Technology liaison ... Thomas coordinates a Redlands offense that set a school record for total offense in a game (677 yards in 2007), and has accumulated various other records ... He was a part of a conference championship in 2007 ... At the culmination of his playing career at Redlands, Thomas participated in the 2002 Aztec Bowl as a defensive back.

Josh Gehring, Offensive Coordinator, Morningside: Gehring has been an assistant coach for 11 years, with the last three at Morningside ... He has developed and implemented a leadership development program for incoming freshmen athletes with the purpose of building character, developing leadership skills, and building a foundation for academic success ... Gehring has also initiated the Morningside College Youth Football Camps that serve nearly 200 Siouxland youth ... He has spearheaded many community service and outreach projects which consist of a player readership program for elementary school children, leading food and clothing drives for local charities ... Gehring is also active in Fellowship for Christian Athletes and led a Young Adult Bible Study ... His offense led the nation in scoring in 2008 at 48 points per game, broke 32 school records, and he has tutored a Great Plains Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

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