Friday, December 12, 2008

AFCA Announces 2008 Assistant Coach of the Year Winners

WACO, TEX.-- The American Football Coaches Association is proud to announce its 2008 Assistant Coach of the Year winners. One assistant coach from the five different 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 2008 honorees are as follows: Football Bowl Subdivision–Mac McWhorter, Associate Head Coach & Offensive Line Coach, University of Texas; Football Championship Subdivision–John Loose, Defensive Coordinator & Defensive Backs Coach, Lafayette College; Division II–Matt Entz, Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator & Linebackers Coach, Winona State University; Division III–Dick Bowzer, Quarterbacks & Receivers Coach, Central (Iowa) College; and NAIA–Dennis Murphy, Wide Receivers Coach, Benedictine (Kan.) 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 2010 AFCA Convention or any other professional development clinic/convention of their choice. They will be honored at the AFCA Kickoff Luncheon, Monday, January 12 at the 2009 AFCA Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

Assistant Coach of the Year Finalists for 2008

Football Bowl Subdivision

Dan Brooks, Tennessee; Dave Christensen, Missouri; Mac McWhorter, Texas

Football Championship Subdivision

Larry Ciotti, Yale; John Loose, Lafayette; Mike Simpson, Albany

Division II

Matt Entz, Winona St.; David Needs, Carson-Newman; Matt Yoches, Grand Valley St.

Division III
Dick Bowzer, Central (Iowa); Jeremy Markham, Manchester; David Parks, St. John Fisher

Chad Gehring, Evangel; Dustin Miller, Malone; Dennis Murphy, Benedictine (Kan.)

Assistant Coach of the Year Notes

Sixty assistant coaches from 50 different schools have been honored by the AFCA since the inception of the award in 1997 ... Campbellsville (NAIA) and Hampton (Division I-AA) lead all schools with three winners each ... Campbellsville’s three Assistant Coach of the Year Winners came in three straight years (1997-Samuel Wickliffe, 1998-Eric Graves, 1999-Haywood Riner) ... Hampton won its three awards in 1997 (Alonzo Wright), 1998 (John Wright) and 2003 (Donovan Rose) ... Air Force, Benedictine (Kan.), Central (Iowa), Mount Union, Northwest Missouri State and Wabash have had two winners each.

The Winners
Football Bowl Subdivision
Mac McWhorter, Associate Head Coach & Offensive Line Coach, Texas:
McWhorter has been coaching football for 35 years, the last seven at Texas ... He is involved in supporting Peach Lutheran Children’s Ministry, and served as Master of Ceremonies for Peach Lutheran Children’s Ministry’s main fundraiser ... McWhorter also volunteers support with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Safe Place (for abused women), United Mitochondrial Foundation and Archdiocese of Austin ... He has been a member of the AFCA since 1980 and is currently a member of the Texas High School Coaches Association ... McWhorter preaches the well-rounded student-athlete, which is epitomized by his seven First Team Academic All-Big 12 offensive linemen and 2007 Draddy Trophy winner Dallas Griffin ... He has produced six offensive linemen that are currently playing (or were drafted this year) in the NFL (Derrick Dockery, Buffalo Bills; Jonathan Scott, Detroit Lions; Justin Blalock, Atlanta Falcons; Lyle Sendlein, Arizona Cardinals; Kasey Studdard, Houston Texans; Tony Hills, Pittsburgh Steelers).

Football Championship Subdivision
John Loose, Defensive Coordinator & Defensive Backs Coach, Lafayette:
Loose is in his 22nd year of coaching and has spent the last eight years at Lafayette ... He has organized Lauren’s First and Goal, a one day charity football camp and foundation named after his 11-year-old daughter who has been fighting brain and spinal tumors since age 2 ... In the first five years, his foundation raised more than $560,000 for charity ... Loose’s Lafayette Camp, and an inaugural camp at the University of South Florida, raised over $250,000 for pediatric brain tumor research and cancer services in 2008 ... Loose has been a member of AFCA for 21 years and has served on the Coach of the Year Committee for three years ... In 2007, Loose coached the top-ranked defense in the nation ... His defenses have helped lead the way for the Leopards to win the Patriot League three times and participate in the NCAA playoffs in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Division II
Matt Entz, Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator & Linebackers Coach, Winona State:
Entz is in his seventh season at Winona State and 14th overall as an assistant coach ... He coordinates the team’s community volunteer efforts with Winona Volunteer Services, a non-profit organization whose main purpose is to provide emergency assistance and relief in the form of food, shelter, clothing and transportation to less fortunate residents of Winona County … In 2006, Entz led and assisted in the coordination of a Katrina Relief trip to the greater New Orleans area … He takes part in the Clean the Creek Program, removing trash and debris along an exercise path near a local creek and lake … Entz volunteers his time working with high school student-athletes at an annual football camp for Milwaukee Public Schools, and has collaborated with the Warrior Football Leadership Council in developing a Summer Youth Football Camp … Coach Entz’s defenses has been consistently ranked at the top of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in total defense, run defense, points allowed and turnover margin … He has coached 18 First Team All-Conference defensive players, three First Team All-Americans, five straight NSIC Defensive Players of the Year (2002-2006) and one NSIC Newcomer of the Year.

Division III
Dick Bowzer, Quarterbacks & Receivers Coach, Central (Iowa) College:
Bowzer has spent 41 years as an assistant coach, all at Central ... He is a Deacon of the Second Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa, and has served the church on many different committees such as two terms on the Executive Committee and numerous terms on the Mission Council and Building and Grounds Council ... Bowzer spent one summer remodeling the church basement and participated on mission trips to Kentucky, Michigan and Missouri ... He helped with construction of a playground in a city park, assisted with a city youth softball league, conducted free tennis clinics and started the Pella Open tennis tournament, conducting it for many years and helping it become one of the largest city tennis tournaments in Iowa ... Bowzer was the first NCAA Division III representative on the AFCA Assistant Coaches Committee, serving three terms ... He was also a member of the AFCA Coach of the Year Committee ... During his tenure as an offensive assistant, 125 offensive players have earned All-Iowa Conference recognition, including seven league MVPs.

Dennis Murphy, Wide Receivers Coach, Benedictine (Kan.):
Murphy has been an assistant coach for 30 years, all at Benedictine ... He has volunteered for the American Red Cross for 20-plus years, and has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity since 2000 ... Murphy has provided aid and assistance to the Atchison, Kansas, Homeless Youth Food and Shelter since 1999, while also volunteering for Maur Hill Academy Fund Raising for more than 20 years ... He is a volunteer coach and athletic trainer for numerous local and regional football and track events ... A long time member of the AFCA, Murphy has been a member of several committees including: Planning Committee, All-American Committee and NAIA Assistant Coaches Committee ... He has coached and produced 15 All-Conference performers and nine NAIA All-Americans ... Murphy’s offense has helped lead the way to 10 NAIA playoff appearances and five conference championships for Benedictine ... He also teaches at Benedictine and is a certified athletic trainer.