Mike Fox – The College at Brockport

FootballScoop is proud to announce that Mike Fox is the 2018 FootballScoop Division III Coordinator of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.

Every single defensive coordinator at every level of football from Pop Warner through the NFL will put stopping the run at among their top priorities, if not at the top of the list. And if that’s the case, Brockport had one of the best defensive seasons in the history of the sport.

Consider this: through 11 of their 12 games this season — all of them victories — the Golden Eagles had held their entire schedule to negative yards rushing. That’s 11 games, and minus-28 rushing yards allowed.

Because success that astonishing must be seen to be believed, let’s briefly run through Brockport’s schedule: Hobart, five rushing yards allowed in a 56-7 win; Ithaca, 24 in a 13-7 win; St. Lawrence, 1 in a 65-12 win; St. John Fisher, minus-51 in a 49-7 win; Hartwick, minus-37 in a 55-7 win; Alfred, 12 yards in a 52-0 win; Buffalo State, minus-48 in a 65-7 win; Utica, minus-62 in a 22-6 win; SUNY Cortland, 66 in 21-16 win; Morrisville State, 62 in a 49-7 win; and Framingham State, three in a 40-27 win. Finally, Brockport was gashed to the tune of 106 yards (on 3.21 a carry) in a 21-13 loss to RPI to end the season.

In all, Brockport defended 263 runs and allowed 81 yards and five touchdowns. Their 0.31 yards per carry average was the best in college football.

And yet teams kept running into this brick wall because Brockport was also lethal against the pass. The Golden Eagles defended 462 passes, permitting 202 completions (43.7 percent) for 2,427 yards (5.25 per attempt) with 12 touchdowns against 23 interceptions.

In total, Brockport allowed 209 yards per game (second nationally) on 3.46 yards per game with 17 touchdowns on 725 total plays. Their 10.3 scoring average was No. 7 in Division III. They unsurprisingly led Division III on third down with a paltry 15.8 conversion rate (25-for-158) while finishing second in the red zone, permitting nine scores in 26 tries.

Senior defensive tackle Austin Dean was named a D3Football.com First Team All-American and the D3Football.com East Region Defenisve Player of the Year, while senior defensive backs Matt Arita and Rashad Baker were AP Second Team All-Americans. The Empire 8 Conference champions put Dean, Baker, senior defensive lineman Terry McDonald, senior linebacker Matt Szymanski, junior linebacker Alex West, senior defensive back Jake O’Connell and senior defensive back Cedric Campbell II on the All-Empire 8 First Team. Dean was named the Empire 8 Defensive Player of the Year.

A St. John Fisher College graduate, Fox began coaching in the New York high school ranks in 2005. He spent 12 seasons on staff at his alma mater, including the last eight as defensive coordinator, before joining the Brockport staff as defensive coordinator in 2016.

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 (Larry Harmon [Mary Hardin-Baylor], Anthony Johnson [Salisbury], Wallie Kuchinski [St. Thomas], Stephen Lee [Mary Hardin-Baylor] and Fox) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.

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

Previous winners of the Division III Coordinator of the Year award are Glen Fowles (Williamette [Ore.], 2008), Jim Zebrowski (Wisconsin-Whitewater, 2009), Vince Kehres (Mount Union [Ohio], 2010), Wallie Kuchinski (Saint Thomas [Minn.], 2011), John O’Grady (Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 2012), Brian Borland (Wisconsin-Whitewater, 2013), Jackson Vaughan (Linfield, 2014), Chris Kappas (Mount Union [Ohio], 2015), Brandon Staley (John Carroll [Ohio], 2016) and Larry Harmon (Mary Hardin-Baylor [Texas], 2017).

keystats

1st Nationally – Rushing Defense           1st Nationally – Third Down Defense
3rd Nationally – Passing Efficiency           2nd Nationally – Red Zone Defense

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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.