2013 Linebackers Coach 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 Linebackers Coach of the Year award are Bill McGovern (Boston College – 2008), Bob Fraser (Rutgers – 2009), Luke Fickell (Ohio State – 2010), Dave Huxtable (Wisconsin – 2011) and Bob Gregory (Boise State – 2012).
Jim Reid/LeVar Woods
|Linebackers Coach of the Year||Finalist|
Just a few years ago, LeVar Woods was promoted from an administrative assistant position to defensive line coach for Iowa’s bowl game. Soon thereafter, he was promoted to full time linebackers coach and has helped develop one of the most productive units in the country early in his coaching career.
All three of Reid and Woods’ linebackers rank in the top 100 nationally in tackles, and one of their linebackers (James Morris) ranks 37th nationally with four interceptions, which is fourth among all linebackers. As a unit, teams have had some real trouble finding the end zone on the ground, as the Hawkeyes rank first nationally with just five rushing touchdowns allowed. They have also done an outstanding job of preventing big plays, ranking in the top four nationally in plays of 10+, 20+, and 30+ yards.
The linebackers have also helped a defensive unit rank in the top ten in total defense (No. 7), yards per play allowed (No. 8), and first downs allowed per game (No. 7).
|Key Stats: |
4th or higher in scrimmage plays allowed of 10+, 20+ and 30+
3 – all three linebackers rank in the top 100 nationally in tackles
7th in first downs allowed per game
8th in yards per play allowed
|David Kotulski/Lance Anderson||Linebackers Coach of the Year||Finalist|
Stanford’s front seven is regarded in coaching circles as one of the smartest, toughest, and technically sound in the country, and the linebackers are a pivotal piece of that unit’s success. The unit plugs running lanes better than any unit in college football, and rank in the top five in rushing touchdowns allowed (No. 3 – 7), rushing defense (No. 3 – 92 ypg), and rushing yards allowed (No. 3 – 1,191).
Perhaps the most impressive state that credits the linebacking corp is that they have not allowed a single rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. Facing Stanford offensive lineman year round certainly has its advantages. While Shayne Skov is a name that’s recognized nationally for his body of work over the last few seasons, outside linebacker Trent Murphy has accumulated some impressive numbers this season, ranking second nationally in sacks (14), third nationally in tackles for loss (21.5), and 69th nationally in tackles (100 total).
Results and production have been what Stanford’s linebackers have been able to hang their hat on over the past few seasons, and there aren’t many coaches out there that mold talent at the position better than Lance Anderson and David Kotulski.
3rd in rushing defense (89.71)
t-2nd in rushing touchdowns allowed (8)
0 rushing touhchdowns allowed in the fourth quarter
OLB Trent Murphy ranks second in sacks and third in TFL
|Lance Thompson/ Kirby Smart||Linebackers Coach of the Year||Finalist|
It seems impossible to talk about the most dominant linebacking corps in the country without mentioning the Alabama unit led by Kirby Smart (inside linebackers) and Lance Thompson (outside linebackers).
The linebacker unit spearheaded a defense that ranked in the top 25 in numerous defensive categories, including third down conversion percentage (No. 19 – 34%), rush defense (No. 11 – 108 ypg), and rushing touchdowns allowed (No. 3 – 7). Perhaps most impressively, the linebackers played a major role in allowing teams to convert on just four of their 18 fourth down conversions on the year, which led the country.
They also allowed just 11 red zone touchdowns all season, which ranks first nationally. With Smart and Thompson directing the linebackers, you can count on Alabama’s linebacking corp being a force for the foreseeable future.
11th in rush defense (108 yards per game allowed)
1st in red zone touchdowns allowed (11)
19th in third down conversions allowed (34 percent)
3rd in rushing touchdowns allowed (7)
|Brian Jean-Mary||Linebackers Coach of the Year||Finalist|
Louisville had one of the most quietly productive defenses in the country this season, in large part because of the work that Brian Jean-Mary has put in with his linebackers. Against Louisville, offensive coordinators were lucky to convert on 1-of-4 third down conversion attempts, and the Cardinals led the country in that category (27 percent).
Jean-Mary oversaw a unit that led the country in first downs allowed per game (14 per game), run defense (81 ypg), and ranked third in yards allowed per play (4.2). Cardinal fans have to feel good about the future of the defense as they transition to the ACC next season, and Jean-Mary is a big reason why.
|Key Stats: |
1st in rush defense (81 yards per game)
1st in third down conversions allowed (27 percent)
1st in first downs allowed per game (14)
3rd in yards per play allowed (4.2)
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