2013 Division III Coordinator of the Year – Finalists

The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards, presented by ProGrass, are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. Finalists were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors and other athletic department personnel. The winner will be chosen by the previous winners of this award and will be announced in January. 

The 2013 FootballScoop Coaches of the Year will be recognized and will receive their awards at an event held in their honor at the American Football Coaches Association’s annual convention in January. 

Previous winners of the Division III of the Year award are Glen Fowles (Williamette – 2008), Jim Zebrowski (Wisconsin-Whitewater – 2009), Vince Kehres (Mount Union – 2010), Wallie Kuchinski (St. Thomas – 2011) and John O’Grady (Wisconsin-Oshkosh – 2012).

Brian BorlandDivision III Coordinator of the YearFinalist

Wisconsin Whitewater 

If you failed to tune into the D-III national title game, you missed one of the most suffocating, lopsided defensive performances of any national title game in recent memory. During their playoff run, against the best teams in the country, Borland’s unit played their best ball. In the quarterfinals against Linfield, Whitewater recorded 8 sacks, and then followed up that performance in the national championship game with a dominant defensive performance against a Mount Union team that ranked in the top five nationally in six major offensive categories.

Borland’s defense absolutely dominated in the Stagg bowl, holding the Purple Raiders to just 14 points, and 32 rushing yards on 27 carries. Whitewater’s defense was one of only three Division III teams in the country to finish with a turnover margin over 2, and the unit ranked second nationally in that category. Yards and points were also very hard to come by, as Whitewater led the country in scoring defense (9.1 ppg), and ranked in the top five in both total defense (No. 3) and rushing defense (No. 4) as well.

CoY2013-120-150Key Stats:

1st in scoring defense (9.1 points per game)

2nd in turnover margin (2.3)

3rd in total defense (245 yards per game)

4th in rush defense (73 yards per game) 

7th in 3rd down defense (27 percent conversion rate) 

Jeff ThorneDivision III Coordinator of the YearFinalist

 

Jeff Thorne

North Central 

Playing in one of the toughest small college football conferences in the country, North Central’s offense, led by Jeff Thorne, became one of the most feared and efficient units in the country. Under Thorne, the Cardinals racked up at least 40 points all but three of their 14 games in 2013. Their scoring average of 46 points per game ranked 7th nationally. A large part of their offensive success rested on the shoulders of quarterback Spencer Stanek, who led the nation in passing efficiency, while tossing 43 touchdown passes and just 2 interceptions. Running back Ryan Kent also ranked in the top 37 nationally in rushing yards (1,186 with 14 touchdowns).

As a unit Thorne’s group ranked in the top 25 nationally in numerous categories, including; first down offense (2nd), tackles for loss allowed (5th), scoring offense (7th), rushing offense (25th), red zone offense (19th),  third down conversion percentage (18th), Those numbers further showcase the balance that gave defensive coordinators fits all season. 

CoY2013-120-150Key Stats:

1st – Spencer Stanek led the country in passing efficiency (187.0)

2nd in first down offense (346 on the season)

5th in tackles for loss allowed (four per game)

7th in scoring offense (46 points per game)

25th in rushing offense (243 yards per game) 

Jackson VaughanDivision III Coordinator of the YearFinalist

Jackson Vaughan

Linfield 

Linfield’s Jackson Vaughan has been calling the shots on Linfield’s historically strong defense for 16 years, and this year’s team may have been one his best units yet. The heart and soul of the defense lied within the front seven where the aggressive front wreaked enough havoc to lead the country in rush defense (60.3), and ranked seventh nationally in total tackles for loss (110).

Their 60 yards per game rushing was good for second across all divisions ranging from FBS to Division III. Vaughan’s unit also excelled at keeping teams out of the end zone, ranking 12 nationally (14 ppg), and finished +1.5 in turnover margin (#8 nationally). Their most dominant defensive performances came against Case Western Reserve University (-10 yards rushing) , and the University of Puget Sound (-8 yards rushing), both of which were held to negative yards on the ground. Both of those performances ranked among the top 20 outings in all of Division III last year. 

CoY2013-120-150Key Stats:

1st in rush defense (60.3 yards per game)

2nd in rush defense across all divisions (FBS to D-III)

2 opponents held to negative yards rushing in 2013

7th in total TFLs (110)

8th in turnover margin (1.5)

12th in scoring defense (14 points per game) 


 



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