FootballScoop is proud to announce that Josh Kline (Shepherd) as the 2013 FootballScoop Division II Coordinator of the Year presented by ProGrass.
If the object of playing defensive football is to prevent the opposing offense from scoring a touchdown - and I think we can all agree that it is - then no defense in FBS, FCS or Division II had a better season than Shepherd University. Located in Shepherdstown, W. Va., the Rams held opponents to a stunning 15 touchdowns in 12 games.
The Rams pitched three shutouts this season, and held half of their dozen foes to 10 points or less. Ten of their 12 opponents were held to 21 points or less. Overall, Shepherd ranked second in scoring defense at 13.4 points allowed per game.
Kline's defense also ranked second in Division II in total defense, allowing a scant 244.8 yards per game. As a frame of reference, that number would have led FBS by nearly seven full yards per game.
The Rams were equally stingy against the rush and the pass. Opponents tried 305 rushes this season and gained only 580 yards, a ridiculous 1.9 yards per carry allowed, and scored only two touchdowns. That means a rushing attempt against Shepherd had a 0.65 percent chance of finding the end zone. Their 48.3 rushing defense average was the best in the NCAA by a dozen yards per game.
Kline's defense ranked third in Division II in pass efficiency defense, limiting opponents to 229-of-453 passing (50.6 percent) for 2,358 yards (5.2 yards per attempt) with 13 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, good for a 96.68 pass efficiency rating.
Additionally, Shepherd ranked 12th in Division II in turnover margin (1.3), second in third down conversions (22.2 percent), 15th in red zone defense (66.7 percent) and ninth in first downs allowed (173).
"We've only had defensive coordinators since 1990, Jeff Casteel, Bob Haley and Josh Kline," head coach Monte Kater said. "Our defense has been at its best in the last few years with Josh. He was a really hard worker during his playing days as an undersized defensive lineman, and he's an equally hard worker as our defensive coordinator."
Kline helped Shepherd post a perfect regular season and an 11-1 overall record, reaching the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs. Individually, a half-dozen Rams defenders were earned NCAA Division II All-Super Region One honors.
A 2003 Shepherd graduate, Kline joined the Rams' coaching staff immediately upon graduation and has not left since. This season marked his third as defensive coordinator.
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. The finalists (Charlie Flohr - Northwest Missouri State, Gilbert and Mike Volarvich - Henderson State) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Kline will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Division II Coach of the Year award are Tim Beck (Pittsburg State, 2008), Scott Preston (Arkansas Tech, 2009), Ken Collums (Abilene Christian, 2010), Hunter Hughes (Colorado State-Pueblo, 2011) and Paul Tortorella (Indiana [Pa.], 2012).
1st Nationally - TDs Allowed
2nd Nationally - Total Defense
2nd Nationally - Scoring Defense
1st Nationally - Rushing Defense
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