Charlotte, N.C. (Jan. 9, 2018) – Former UCF head coach Scott Frost, Iowa State’s Matt Campbell and many others were honored during the live broadcast of the American Football Coaches Awards®, presented by Amway, at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Marking the AFCA Coaches’ Trophy’s 31st anniversary, many former championship-winning coaches – including Bob Stoops, Larry Coker, Les Miles and Dabo Swinney – were honored on stage to mark the 31st anniversary of the AFCA Coaches’ Trophy, presented by Amway.
The trophy presentation was among several prestigious awards given during Tuesday’s American Football Coaches Awards. The one-and-a-half hour show was broadcast live on the USA TODAY Sports Facebook page and hosted by Bonnie Bernstein and Rick Neuheisel. Other awards went to former UCF head coach Scott Frost (2017 AFCA FBS Coach of the Year); Brian Bohannon, Kennesaw State (2017 AFCA FCS Coach of the Year); Pete Shinnick, West Florida (2017 AFCA Division II Coach of the Year); Jason Mangone, Brockport (2017 AFCA Division III Coach of the Year); Kevin Donley, Saint Francis (Ind.) (2017 AFCA NAIA Coach of the Year); Matt Campbell (2017 USA TODAY Sports Coach’s Play Call of the Year); Jack Lengyel (2018 AFCA Tuss McLaughry Award); Frank Broyles, posthumously, (2018 AFCA Amos Alonzo Stagg award); Scott Strohmeier, Iowa Western Community College (2017 ACCFCA Coach of the Year) and Allan Trimble, Jenks High School (2017 AFCA Power of Influence Award).
Frost, who took over a UCF team that went 0-12 in 2015, led the Golden Knights to their first-ever undefeated season at 13-0. UCF won the American Athletic Conference title and defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl. Frost was nominated for the award after earning AFCA FBS Region 1 honors last month. Other regional winners were Kirby Smart, Georgia; Paul Chryst, Wisconsin; Matt Campbell, Iowa State; and Jeff Tedford, Fresno State.
"It means so much when you win an award voted on by your peers," Frost said. "As I said on stage, there are great coaches from the high school level all the way up to Kirby Smart who was sitting next to me. To have my name next to the list of guys who have won this award before means a great deal to me."
Bohannon, who started the Kennesaw State football program just three years ago, led the Owls to the FCS quarterfinals, a 12-2 record and the Big South Conference title. At the end of their postseason run, KSU became the first FCS program to reach the quarterfinals in just three years of playing football. Other FCS regional finalists were Al Bagnoli, Columbia; Mike London, Howard; John Grass, Jacksonville State; Dave Cecchini, Valparaiso; and Demario Warren, Southern Utah.
"I’m very humbled to represent such a great university," Bohannon said. "This award is a body of work for our university, our student-athletes and our staff. I get to accept this honor, but this is really a team award on all the great work that has been done at our place."
Shinnick took home the Division II Coach of the Year honor by leading West Florida to the NCAA Division II National Championship game in the program’s second year of existence. The Argonauts finished with an 11-4 overall record, winning a school record six in a row – including five over nationally ranked opponents – to get to the title game. The other finalists were Mark Maciejewski, Shippensburg; Lee Owens, Ashland; Bill Maskill, Midwestern State; and Tom Sawyer, Winona State.
"I’m very blessed and honored to receive this honor," Shinnick said. "This is a tremendous award for the University of West Florida for all they have done to get us to this place. I’m just the lucky guy who gets to win this honor."
Mangone led Brockport to new heights in 2017. The Golden Eagles went 13-1, which set a new school record for victories in a season, and it also set the Empire 8 Conference single-season record. Mangone also guided Brockport to the semifinals of the NCAA Division III playoffs, the deepest the program has ever been in the post-season. Other finalists were Mike Sirianni, Washington & Jefferson; Tony Kunczewski, Berry; Troy Abbs, Trine; and Rick Willis, Wartburg.
"It is extremely humbling to win this award," Mangone said. "You come to the convention and see all these incredible coaches and you never think you will be one of the guys who gets named National Coach of the Year. It still hasn’t hit me yet, but this is a true blessing."
Donley earned back-to-back AFCA NAIA Coach of the Year honors after guiding Saint Francis to its second straight NAIA National Championship with a 14-0 record. The Cougars won the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League and are on a 23-game winning streak. The other finalists for NAIA Coach of the Year were Chris Oliver, Lindsey Wilson; Larry Wilcox, Benedictine (Kan.); Steve Ryan, Morningside; Matt McCarty, Northwestern (Iowa); and Charlie Hall, Southern Oregon.
"It’s a great thing to be voted National Coach of the Year by your peers," Donley said. "I’m quite honored by it, but we are all about team. It’s about building a team. This is a tribute to our players and our coaches."
Former college football coach and long-time athletic director Jack Lengyel was awarded the AFCA’s highest honor, the Tuss McLaughry Award, which is given to a distinguished American, or Americans, for the highest distinction in service to others. Some of the former winners of this award include General Douglas MacAuthur, President Ronald Reagan, former Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry and legendary Grambling State head coach Eddie Robinson.
"I am humbled and honored to be selected for the American Football Coaches Association’s Tuss McLaughry Award, and to be associated with those legendary former recipients," Lengyel said. "I want to thank my wife Sandy, my children David, Julie and Peter, for their dedicated support throughout my career. I stand on the shoulders of my former players, coaches, mentors, supporters and family, and share this award with each and every one of them."
Strohmeier took home the 2017 American Community College Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year Award. He becomes the second junior/community college head coach to win two ACCFCA Coach of the Year honors after leading Iowa Western to an 11-1 record and a No. 2 finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association Top 20 Poll.
"I am completely honored and humbled to be awarded the 2017 ACCFCA Coach of the Year Award and accept it on behalf of my coaching staff and the fine student-athletes at Iowa Western," Strohmeier said. "I really appreciate the AFCA and my fellow coaches for giving me this great honor."
Trimble was honored with the 2017 AFCA Power of Influence Award. Coaches who win this award are recognized for their impact on their team and players, as well as the legacy they leave with the school and surrounding community. Trimble has had a tremendous impact on Jenks High School. In his 22 years as head coach, he has led the Trojans to 13 6A State Championships and 16 District titles.
"Being selected by the AFCA as the 2017 Power of Influence Award winner is a humbling and life changing experience for me and my family, especially when I reflect on the number of great coaches and players who I’ve had the privilege to work alongside during my career," Trimble said. "Looking back, I pray that lives were influenced in a positive way and this mentorship process continues to grow and reciprocate. Football is the greatest classroom a young man can participate in."
Pat Fitzgerald, head coach at Northwestern, was honored as the honorary head coach of the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. Fitzgerald and the 22 student-athletes from all five collegiate divisions who make up this year’s squad were honored during halftime of the Allstate Sugar Bowl last week.
Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell was honored with the USA TODAY Sports Coach’s Play Call of the Year. In the Cyclones upset victory over Oklahoma on October 7, the biggest call of the day came when Iowa State scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Kempt to Marchie Murdock to get within two, 24-22, late in the third quarter. Campbell decided to go for two and the tie. Kempt found Allen Lazard for the two-point conversion. With that, the Cyclones grabbed the momentum and the victory. Campbell beat two play calls from Paul Chryst at Wisconsin in an online vote.
"What a great honor for Iowa State athletics, and really our fan base, to be honored on such a special night here at the AFCA Convention as we continue to lay the foundation of our program," Campbell said.
The former head coach at Missouri and Arkansas, Frank Broyles posthumously received the Amos Alonzo Stagg award for services that were outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football. Broyles won 149 games for the Razorbacks and Tigers, leading Arkansas to the 1964 national championship. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Broyles passed away on August 14, 2017. His daughter, Betsy Broyles Arnold, and his granddaughter, Molly Arnold, accepted the award in his honor.
About the AFCA
The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 11,000 members around the world ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. According to its constitution, the AFCA was formed, in part, to "maintain the highest possible standards in football and in the coaching profession" and to "provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football."
Vince Thompson, AFCA Director of Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 254-754-9900