AFCA Announces 2012 Coach of the Year Winners
The American Football Coaches Association capped its 2013 convention by presenting its top coaching award — AFCA Coach of the Year — to five outstanding coaches today.
Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, North Dakota State’s Craig Bohl, Valdosta State’s David Dean, St. Thomas’ Glenn Caruso and Morningside’s Steve Ryan are the 2012 AFCA National Coach of the Year winners. Kelly in FBS, Bohl in FCS, Dean in Division II, Caruso in Division III and Ryan in NAIA.
The winners are selected by a vote of the Active AFCA members (coaches at four-year schools) in the Association’s five divisions. The AFCA has named a Coach of the Year since 1935. The AFCA Coach of the Year award is the oldest and most prestigious of all the Coach of the Year awards and is the only one chosen exclusively by the coaches themselves.
Brian Kelly led Notre Dame to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the BCS National Championship game. He has a 199-68-2 overall record in his 22 seasons as head coach, with two Division II National Championships in 2002-03 at Grand Valley State, two Big East titles at Cincinnati and two AFCA Division II Coach of the Year honors in 2002-03. In his three seasons as head coach for the Fighting Irish, Kelly has led Notre Dame to 28-11 record.
In 2012, Craig Bohl led the Bison to a 14-1 record, a second straight Missouri Valley Football Conference title and a second straight Football Championship Subdivision national championship. In his 10 years at North Dakota State, Bohl owns a 89-32 record, and those 89 victories place him second on the school’s all-time wins list. He earned AFCA FCS Regional Coach of the Year honors in 2011, and was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012.
David Dean led the Blazers to a 12-2 record in 2012 and the program’s third NCAA Division II national title in nine years, earning him AFCA Division II Coach of the Year honors for the second time. With those 12 wins, Dean brought his overall record to 54-17 and drew closer to Chris Hatcher’s program leading 76-win mark. He also earned AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors in 2010 after leading Valdosta State to eight wins, a NCAA Division II playoff berth and the school’s first conference title in six years.
Glenn Caruso led St. Thomas to a 14-1 record, its third consecutive Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) championship and its first appearance in the NCAA Division III national championship game. Caruso has a five-year record of 57-8 at St. Thomas. The Tommies have recorded three straight 10-0 regular seasons, making the first time that has been accomplished in MIAC history. Caruso earned AFCA Regional honors in 2010 after leading St. Thomas to a 12-1 mark and a trip to the NCAA Division III quarterfinals.
Steve Ryan led Morningside to a 13-1 record and an appearance in the NAIA national championship game this season to earn AFCA NAIA National Coach of the Year honors for the first time, to go along with a second straight AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honor. Ryan has an overall record of 98-31 in his 11 years as head coach at Morningside, ranking him second on the school’s all-time wins list behind Jason Saunderson with 118. He guided the Mustangs to a second straight Great Plains Athletic Conference title in 2012, and third under his tutelage. Morningside has made nine straight appearances in the NAIA playoffs under Ryan.
The winners will be honored Tuesday evening at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
The full-time assistant coaches at the five schools represented by the AFCA National Coach of the Year winners will each receive a $1,000 grant from the American Football Coaches Foundation that can be used to further their education or professional development.
Lynn “Pappy” Waldorf, then of Northwestern, was named as the first AFCA Coach of the Year in 1935. One national winner was selected from 1935 through 1959. From 1960 through 1982, two national winners were selected — one representing the University Division and one from the College Division. From 1983-2005, four national winners were chosen. In 2006, the AFCA started honoring an NAIA Coach of the Year, giving us the five honorees we have today.
Prior to 2006, the NAIA was a part of the AFCA’s Division II membership category.
The AFCA’s Coach of the Year award is the oldest of all Coach of the Year awards and is one of only two Coach of the Year awards recognized by the NCAA in Football Bowl Subdivision and the only Coach of the Year award recognized in the NCAA’s three other divisions. The NCAA does not select a “coach of the year” for college football. When a coach is referred to as “NCAA Coach of the Year,” he is usually the AFCA Coach of the Year winner.
All-Time Winners: A total of 152 men representing 109 institutions have been honored by the AFCA as AFCA National Coach of the Year since the program was established in 1935.
First Year Coach of the Year: Richmond’s Mike London and Valdosta State’s David Dean are the only coaches to earn AFCA National Coach of the Year honors in their first season as a head coach. Dean was the Division II winner in 2007. London was the FCS winner in 2008.
Most Schools: Jim Tressel is the only coach to win AFCA National Coach of the Year honors at two different schools, and the second to win the honor in two different divisions. Tressel earned AFCA honors at Division I-A Ohio State in 2002 and Division I-AA Youngstown State in 1991 and 1994.
Two Divisions: Brian Kelly is the second coach to win AFCA National Coach of the Year honors in two different divisions. He earned AFCA honors at Division II Grand Valley State in 2002 and 2003, and FBS Notre Dame in 2012.
Top Individuals: Larry Kehres of Mount Union is the only coach in AFCA history to win National Coach of the Year honors nine times. He has earned the award in Mount Union’s national championship seasons of 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2008. Joe Paterno of Penn State earned his Division I-A fifth National Coach of the Year Award in 2005 (1968-72-82-86). Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Lance Leipold (2007, 2009-10-11) joins Northwest Missouri State’s Mel Tjeerdsma (1998-99-2008-09) and Bob Reade of Augustana (Ill.) College as the only four-time AFCA Coach of the Year winners. Reade earned the honor in 1983-84-85-86 in College Division II (now Division III). Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly (2002-03, 2012), Carroll’s Mike Van Diest (2003, 2007, 2010), Sioux Falls’ Kalen DeBoer (2006, 2008-09), Appalachian State’s Jerry Moore (2005-06-07), Youngstown State and Ohio State coach Jim Tressel (1991, 1994, 2003), Alabama’s Bear Bryant (1961, 1971, 1973) and North Alabama’s Bobby Wallace (1993-94-95) are the only three-time Coach of the Year winners. Kehres, Leipold, Moore, Reade and Wallace are the only coaches to win the award in three or more consecutive seasons.
Top Schools: Mount Union is the only institution to have a representative win the AFCA National Coach of the Year Award nine times. Georgia Southern, North Dakota State, Penn State and Wisconsin-Whitewater are the only schools with five winners. Alabama, Augustana (Ill.), Grand Valley State, Michigan, Northwest Missouri State, Ohio State and Wittenberg are four-time winners.
Larry Kehres has won all nine awards for Mount Union, while Joe Paterno has won all five awards for Penn State. Paul Johnson (1999, 2000), Erk Russell (1986, 1989) and Tim Stowers (1990) are Georgia Southern’s honorees. North Dakota State’s national winners are Don Morton (1983), Earle Solomonson (1986), Rocky Hager (1988, 1990) and Craig Bohl (2012). Lance Leipold’s four honors and Bob Berezowitz’s 2005 National Coach of the Year award account for Wisconsin-Whitewater’s five honors. Mel Tjeerdsma accounts for all of Northwest Missouri’s awards. Lloyd Carr (1997), Fritz Crisler (1947), Bennie Oosterbaan (1948) and Bo Schembechler (1969) are Michigan’s winners. Bill Edwards (1962, 1963) and Dave Maurer (1973, 1975), his successor, are responsible for Wittenberg being listed in the select group. Gene Stallings earned Coach of the Year honors in 1992 to join three-time winner Bear Bryant as Alabama’s winners. Augustana’s Reade accounts for all of his school’s awards. Ohio State’s Jim Tressel joins Carroll Widdoes (1944), Woody Hayes (1957) and Earle Bruce (1979) as one of the four Buckeye coaches to win the award. Chuck Martin (2005-06) joins Brian Kelly (2002-03) as the winners from Grand Valley State.
Appalachian State (Jerry More, 2005-06-07), Delaware (Tubby Raymond, 1971-72; K.C. Keeler, 2010), Furman (Dick Sheridan, 1985; Jimmy Satterfield, 1988; Bobby Johnson, 2001), North Alabama (Bobby Wallace, 1993-94-95), Notre Dame (Frank Leahy, 1941; Ara Parseghian, 1964; Brian Kelly, 2012), Sioux Falls (Kalen DeBoer 2006, 2008-09), USC (John McKay, 1962, 1972; Pete Carroll, 2003) and Valdosta State (Chris Hatcher, 2004; David Dean, 2007, 2012) are all in the exclusive group of schools having three winners each.
Two-Timers: Jim Butterfield, Ithaca (1988, 1991), David Dean, Bill Edwards, Joe Glenn, Northern Colorado (1996-97), Rocky Hager, Paul Johnson, Chuck Martin, Dave Maurer, John McKay, Harold “Tubby” Raymond, Darrell Royal, Texas (1963, 1970), Erk Russell and Andy Talley, Villanova (1997, 2009) are the repeat winners.
Back-to-Back: Kalen DeBoer, Bill Edwards, Joe Glenn, Paul Johnson, Larry Kehres, Brian Kelly, Lance Leipold, Chuck Martin, Jerry Moore, Tubby Raymond, Bob Reade, Mel Tjeerdsma and Bobby Wallace are the only coaches to win national honors in consecutive years. No FBS coach has won the award in consecutive years. Kehres is the only coach to win three consecutive Coach of the Year awards twice, while Tjeerdsma is the only coach to win two consecutive Coach of the Year awards twice.
Fit to be Tied: In 2003, Brian Kelly and Mike Van Diest became the fourth duo in the history of the AFCA National Coach of the Year award to finish in a tie for the honor and the first non-I-A coaches to share the award. Larry Coker and Ralph Friedgen finished in a tie for the honor in 2001. In 1964, Frank Broyles of Arkansas and Ara Parseghian of Notre Dame shared the award and in 1970, Charlie McClendon of Louisiana State and Darrell Royal of Texas were co-winners.
AFCA Coach of the Year Bios
Football Bowl Subdivision
Brian Kelly, University of Notre Dame
First AFCA FBS National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Fighting Irish to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the BCS National Championship game this season ... Has a 199-68-2 overall record in his 22 years as a head coach at Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Central Michigan and Grand Valley State ... His 12 wins in the 2012 season mark the best season for the Fighting Irish since 1988 ... Guided Cincinnati to a 34-6 record in his three years with two Big East titles and earned three Big East Coach of the Year honors from 2007-09 ... Spent three seasons at Central Michigan with a 19-16 overall mark, leading the Chippewas to a 9-4 mark and a Mid-American Conference title in 2006 ... Head Coach at Grand Valley State for 13 years, leading the Lakers to a 118-35-2 record and two NCAA Division II National Championships in 2002 and 2003 ... Has led three different FBS teams to seven straight bowl games since 2006 ... Earned an overall record of 34-6 in three years as head coach at Cincinnati, leading the Bearcats to three bowl games, including two BCS bowl games.
Previous National Coach of the Year Honors: Division II, Grand Valley St., 2002, 2003
Previous Regional Coach of the Year Honors: Division II, Grand Valley St., Region 3, 1998, 2001; FBS, Cincinnati, Region 1, 2008-09; Notre Dame, Region 3, 2012
Football Championship Subdivision
Craig Bohl, North Dakota State University
First AFCA FCS National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Bison to a 14-1 record, a second straight Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) title and a second straight NCAA Football Championship Subdivision national championship this season ... In 10 years at North Dakota State, Bohl’s owns an 89-32 overall record ... Has guided the Bison to a 24-8 record against FCS ranked teams, and a 10-1 mark in the FCS playoffs ... North Dakota State has been ranked in the Top 5 for 42 weeks since moving to FCS in 2004, including 23 weeks at No. 1 ... Led the Bison to a Great West Football Conference title in 2006, and a 10-1 overall record in the program’s third year in FCS play ... Earned MVFC Coach of the Year honors for a second time in 2012, along with being named the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year.
Previous Regional Coach of the Year Honors: FCS, Region 4, 2011
David Dean, Valdosta State University
Second AFCA Division II National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Blazers to their third NCAA Division II national title in nine years, and second under Dean in 2012 ... Has a 54-17 overall record at Valdosta State, which places him second on the school’s all-times wins list ... Led Valdosta State to a 8-3 mark, the Gulf South Conference title and a berth in the Division II playoffs in 2010, earning him AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors for the first time ... Earned AFCA Division II Coach of the Year honors in 2007 after leading the Blazers to a 13-1 record and a national championship in his first season as a head coach.
Previous National Coach of the Year Honors: Division II, 2007
Previous Regional Coach of the Year Honors: Division II, Region 2, 2010
Glenn Caruso, University of St. Thomas
First AFCA Division III National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Tommies to a 14-1 record, its third consecutive Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and its first NCAA Division III championship appearance in the program’s history ... St. Thomas finished No. 2 in the AFCA Division III Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, their highest ranking in school history ... Has a five-year record of 57-8 at St. Thomas, and an overall record of 63-20 including his two seasons at Macalester ... The 14 victories in 2012 tied an MIAC record for most wins in a season ... St. Thomas’ 50 wins in the past four years are the third most in Division III behind only Mount Union (57) and Wisconsin-Whitewater (52).
Previous Regional Coach of the Year Honors: Division III, Region 5, 2010
Steve Ryan, Morningside College
First AFCA NAIA National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Mustangs to a 13-1 record and an appearance in the NAIA championship game this season ... Has an 11-year career record of 98-31 at Morningside ... His 98 victories rank second on the school’s all-time wins list ... Earned AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors in 2011 when he led the Mustangs to nine wins, the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) title and a trip to the NAIA playoffs for the eighth straight year ... Morningside has won three GPAC titles under Ryan (2005, 2011-12), and he has been named Conference Coach of the Year four times.
Previous Regional Coach of the Year Honors: Division II, Region 4, 2005; NAIA, Region 4, 2011, 2012