Matt Entz – North Dakota State University

FootballScoop is proud to announce that Matt Entz is the 2018 FootballScoop FCS Coordinator of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.

The thing about having championship standards is you have to live up to them or they’re no longe standards. Those standards define you, they color everything you do. Entz and his North Dakota State defense once again lived up to its standards in 2018.

The Bison will once again play for the national championship on Saturday against Eastern Washington, led by a defense that ranks second nationally in scoring at 11.2 points per game. Entz’s defense has limited six of their 14 opponents to single digits — including a shutout of Colgate in the FCS quarterfinals — and held 10 foes to 14 or below. Only one opponent top 21 points on this defense.

A good scoring defense starts with a solid red zone defense, and that’s where this Bison unit was their best. Over a total of 22 trips, opponents posted just 11 scores — seven touchdowns and four field goals — a 50 percent mark that is the best in FCS.

North Dakota State allowed just 111.5 yards per game on the ground (13th fewest nationally) and was even better against the pass. Opposing passers completed just 50.9 percent of their throws for 2,421 yards (6.5 per attempt) with 11 touchdowns against 21 interceptions, a 103.93 efficiency rating that ranks seventh in the country.

Opponents converted just 55 of their 192 third down tries, a 28.6 success rate that ninth worst in the country.

The Bison were also great at turning opponents over. Their 27 takeaways are tied for ninth in the country.

Linebacker Jabril Cox was named a HERO First Team All-American, while defensive back Robbie Grimsley made the AP and STATS First Team All-America rosters. Defensive lineman Greg Menard joined Cox and Grimsley on the First Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference team, while defensive back James Hendricks was a Second Team All-MVFC honoree.

North Dakota State will play for its seventh national championship in eight seasons against Eastern Washington on Saturday in Frisco, Texas.

Also North Dakota State’s linebackers coach, Entz has been on NDSU’s staff since 2014. The Wartburg College graduate coached at Wayne State (Neb.), Winona State (Minn.), Northern Iowa and Western Illinois before arriving in Fargo. He was announced as North Dakota State’s next head coach on Dec. 13 after Chris Klieman took the Kansas State job.

“Having watched Matt as the defensive coordinator for the past five years,” NDSU AD Matt Larsen said. “I knew he possessed the qualities to be the head football coach at North Dakota State: leadership, integrity, toughness, and a sincere appreciation for the history and tradition of Bison football.”

The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by AstroTurf are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Grant Chesnut [Kennesaw State], Sean Gleeson [Princeton], Paul Shaffner [Colgate] and Christian Taylor and Jim Jackson [San Diego] and Trott) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.

Entz will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.

Previous winners of the FCS Coordinator of the Year award are Heishman Northern (Prairie View A&M, 2008), Bob Shoop (William & Mary, 2009), Nick Rapone (Delaware, 2010), Scott Stoker (Sam Houston State, 2011), Chris Klieman (North Dakota State, 2012), Sterlin Gilbert (Eastern Illinois, 2013), Don Bailey (Idaho State, 2014), Lyle Hemphill (Stony Brook, 2015), Phil Longo (Sam Houston State, 2016) and Bob Trott (James Madison, 2017).

keystats

2nd Nationally – Scoring Defense           7th Nationally – Pass Efficiency Defense
1st Nationally – Red Zone Defense           9th Nationally – Takeaways

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.