Long-time assistant coach George Belu is this year’s recipient of the AFCA Outstanding Achievement Award. The AFCA Board of Trustees created the Outstanding Achievement Award in order to recognize AFCA members, past and present, who have achieved outstanding success while coaching football.
“This award is special to me because I am being honored by my peers,” Belu said. “I was fortunate throughtout my career to be associated with outstanding people. All of the head coaches I worked with had great ideals and were high character people, and consequently because of that, all of the coaching staffs and players that I worked with were hard workers with excellent character because of that leadership. I enjoyed being a coach and had an amazing career because I feel that I never really worked a day in my life.”
Belu is a 1961 graduate from Ohio University where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He was also a three-year letter-winner on the Bobcats football team and was a part of a Mid-American Conference championship his senior year. After graduating from Ohio, Belu played tight end for three seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Ottawa Roughriders.
Belu began his coaching career at Marshall in 1965. He was the Thundering Herd’s offensive coordinator for three years before moving on to Denison as the offensive line coach from 1968-72. Belu spent the 1973 season as the offensive line coach at Miami (Ohio), helping the RedHawks to an 11-0 record. From 1974-78, he was the offensive coordinator at Colorado under head coach Bill Mallory. Belu helped guide the Buffaloes to a Big Eight Conference title in 1976 and two bowl appearances.
Belu then spent one season as the offensive line coach at North Carolina State in 1979, helping the Wolfpack to the Atlantic Coast Conference title that year. LSU hired Belu as their offensive coordinator and offensive line coach in 1980, and he helped guide the Tigers to an Orange Bowl during his four years with the program. Belu was reunited with head coach Bill Mallory at Indiana in 1984, serving as the Hoosiers offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for 13 seasons. Under Belu’s scheme, Indiana running back Anthony Thompson led the Big Ten in rushing for two straight seasons and the Hoosiers made six bowl appearances.
From 1997-99, Belu was the offensive line coach and running game coordinator at Wake Forest before moving on to Ohio State as the offensive line coach for one season. He made the jump to the National Football League as a collegiate scout for the Arizona Cardinals from 2001-08 before returning to the college ranks as the offensive line coach at Ohio Dominican in 2009. Belu spent one season with the Panthers before ending his coaching career.
Belu is a native of Lorain, Ohio, and was inducted into the Lorain Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.
Past Outstanding Achievement Award winners include: Tim Marcum, Tampa Bay Storm (2003); Joe Moore, Pittsburgh, Temple, Notre Dame (2005); Homer Smith, Davidson, Pacific, Army (2006); Ted Kempski, Delaware (2007); Ken Donahue, Alabama, Tennessee, Memphis, Mississippi State (2008); Roland Christensen, Wisconsin-La Crosse, Winona State (2009); Bill Hickey, Notre Dame, Coast Guard, Swarthmore, Princeton (2012); Joe Kines, Jacksonville State, Clemson, Florida, Alabama, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida State, Texas A&M (2013); Woody McCorvey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi State, Clemson (2014); Mike Terwilliger, East Stroudsburg (2015); and Randy Hart, Tampa, Iowa State, Purdue, Ohio State, Washington, Notre Dame, Stanford (2016).