NASHVILLE, TENN. Northwest Missouri State’s Adam Dorrel, Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Pete Fredenburg and Saint Francis’ (Ind.) Kevin Donley were voted 2016 AFCA National Coach of the Year winners, announced today by the American Football Coaches Association. Dorrel won in Division II, Fredenburg won in Division III and Donley won in NAIA.

All Coach of the Year winners are selected by a vote of the Active I AFCA members (coaches at four-year schools) in their respective 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 coaches.

Adam Dorrel earned his second-straight AFCA Division II National Coach of the Year award, and third overall, by leading the Bearcats to a 15-0 record, the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) title and a second-straight Division II national championship. In his six seasons as the head coach, Dorrel has led Northwest Missouri State to three national titles, four MIAA championships and six straight playoff appearances. He has an overall record of 76-8 and has led Northwest Missouri State to 30 straight victories, the longest current win streak in all of college football. Prior to being named the head coach, he served as the offensive coordinator for the Bearcats from 2007 to 2010, and helped the team to four straight national championship game appearances and the 2009 national title.

Pete Fredenburg earned his first AFCA Division III National Coach of the Year award in 2016 by guiding Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) to a 15-0 record, the American Southwest Conference (ASC) title and the program’s first Division III national championship. The 15 victories in 2016 are a school and an ASC single-season record. In 19 years as the head coach at UMHB, Fredenburg has an overall record of 196-38 with 14 ASC titles and 15 trips to the NCAA Division III playoffs. He has won nine AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors and nine ASC Coach of the Year crowns.

Kevin Donley earned his first AFCA NAIA National Coach of the Year award after guiding Saint Francis (Ind.) to a 13-1 record and the program’s first NAIA national title in 2016. He has an overall record of 302-129-1 in 38 years as a head coach at Saint Francis, California (Pa.), Georgetown (Ky.) and Anderson (Ind.). He has led Saint Francis to 12 Mid-States Football Association Mideast League titles, a 188-44 record and been named conference coach of the year 10 times in his 19 years at the school. Donley is the winningest coach in NAIA history and was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2013.

The winners were announced today at the AFCA Victory Luncheon during the 2017 AFCA Convention in Nashville. They will also be honored at the inaugural American Football Coaches Awards show, to be televised live tonight on CBS Sports Network at 9 PM EST.


2016 Division II, Division III and NAIA Finalists for AFCA National Coach of the Year

Division II Adam Dorrel, Northwest Missouri State; Gary Dunn, California (Pa.); Ronnie Huckeba, Harding (Ark.); Jed Stugart, Sioux Falls (S.D.); Bobby Wallace, North Alabama.

Division III Pete Fredenburg, Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas); Jim Margraff, Johns Hopkins (Md.); Bob Rankl, Alfred (N.Y.); Tyler Staker, Coe (Iowa); Jeff Thorne, North Central (Ill.).

NAIA Drew Cronic, Reinhardt (Ga.); Kevin Donley, Saint Francis (Ind.); Mike Grossner, Baker (Kan.); Chuck Morrell, Montana Tech; Chris Oliver, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.); Steve Ryan, Morningside (Iowa).


     All-Time Winners: A total of 162 men representing 119 institutions have been honored by the AFCA as 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 and Brian Kelly are the only coaches to win AFCA National Coach of the Year honors at two different schools 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. Kelly 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 earned the award in Mount Union’s national championship seasons of 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2008. Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Lance Leipold is in second place with six AFCA Division III Coach of the Year honors – 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. Penn State’s Joe Paterno sits third with five AFCA Coach of the Year honors. Paterno earned his awards in FBS in 1968, 1972, 1982, 1986 and 2005. Northwest Missouri State’s Mel Tjeerdsma (1998-99-2008-09) and Bob Reade of Augustana (Ill.) College are 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). Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant (1961, 1971, 1973), Sioux Falls’ Kalen DeBoer (2006, 2008-09), Northwest Missouri State’s Adam Dorrel (2013, 2015-16), Grand Valley State and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly (2002-03, 2012), Appalachian State’s Jerry Moore (2005-06-07), Youngstown State and Ohio State’s Jim Tressel (1991, 1994, 2003), Carroll’s Mike Van Diest (2003, 2007, 2010) 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 also 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. Northwest Missouri State and Wisconsin-Whitewater are the only schools with seven wins, while North Dakota State is the only school with six. Georgia Southern and Penn State are the only schools with five wins. Alabama, Augustana (Ill.), Grand Valley State, Michigan, Ohio State and Wittenberg are four-time winners.

Larry Kehres won all nine awards for Mount Union, while Joe Paterno won all five awards for Penn State. Lance Leipold’s six honors and Bob Berezowitz’s 2005 National Coach of the Year award account for Wisconsin-Whitewater’s seven honors. Mel Tjeerdsma’s four wins, plus Adam Dorrel’s three National Coach of the Year awards account for Northwest Missouri State’s seven honors. North Dakota State’s national winners are Don Morton (1983), Earle Solomonson (1986), Rocky Hager (1988, 1990) and Craig Bohl (2012, 2013). Paul Johnson (1999, 2000), Erk Russell (1986, 1989) and Tim Stowers (1990) are Georgia Southern’s honorees. Lloyd Carr (1997), Fritz Crisler (1947), Bennie Oosterbaan (1948) and Bo Schembechler (1969) are Michigan’s winners. Bill Edwards (1962, 1963) and his successor, Dave Maurer (1973, 1975), are responsible for Wittenberg being listed in the select four-win group. Gene Stallings earned Coach of the Year honors in 1992 to join his mentor, Bear Bryant, as Alabama’s four award 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 Moore, 2005-06-07), Delaware (Harold “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 that each have three winners.


Two-Timers: Jim Butterfield, Ithaca (1988, 1991); Glenn Caruso, St. Thomas (Minn.) (2012, 2015); David Dean; Bill Edwards; Joe Glenn, Northern Colorado (1996-97); Rocky Hager; Mark Henninger, Marian (2014-15), Paul Johnson; Chuck Martin; Dave Maurer; John McKay; Gary Patterson, TCU (2009, 2014); Tubby Raymond; Darrell Royal, Texas (1963, 1970); Erk Russell and Andy Talley, Villanova (1997, 2009) are repeat winners.


Back-to-Back: Kalen DeBoer, Adam Dorrel, Bill Edwards, Joe Glenn, Mark Henninger, Paul Johnson, Larry Kehres, Brian Kelly, Lance Leipold, Chuck Martin, Jerry Moore, Tubby Raymond, Bob Reade, Mel Tjeerdsma, Bobby Wallace and Craig Bohl are the only coaches to win national honors 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. Leipold won three straight from 2009 to 2011, then went back-to-back in 2013 and 2014, making him the only coach to accomplish that feat.


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; they were also the first non-FBS 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 LSU and Darrell Royal of Texas were co-winners.