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2014 Defensive Line 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 on Friday December 12th.

The 2014 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 in Louisville, KY.

Previous winners of the Defensive Line Coach of the Year award are Dick Bumpas (TCU, 2008), Jim Panagos (Central Florida, 2009), Bill Kirelawich (West Virginia, 2010), Brick Haley (LSU, 2011), Randy Hart (Stanford, 2012), and Ron Burton (Michigan State, 2013)

Craig Kuligowski

Craig Kuligowski, Missouri

After losing First Team All-SEC performers Michael Sam and Kony Ealy, Kuligowski's defensive line found a way to get better in 2014. New starters Shane Ray and Markus Golden rank first and sixth, respectively, in the SEC in sacks with 20.5 combined, and first and third in tackles for loss with 36.5 combined. It was this pair that keyed the Tigers to a second consecutive SEC East championship. The Tigers also rank third in the SEC and 20th nationally in yards per carry allowed at 3.38 a pop.

Key Stats

  • Shane Ray and Markus Golden rank 1st and 6th in the SEC in sacks (20.5 combined)
  • Ray and Golden rank 1st and 3rd in the SEC in tackles for loss (36.5)
  • 10th in sacks (3.17 per game)
  • 10th in tackles for loss (7.5 per game)
  • 22nd in third down defense (34.72 percent)
Ilaisa Tuiaki

Ilaisa Tuiaki, Utah

If the primary goal for any defensive line is to get after the quarterback, then no defensive line had a better 2014 season than Utah. Led by Nate Orchard, the nation's No. 2 sack master, the Utes led the country with 52 sacks in their 12 games. In fact, the Utes' 4.33 sacks per game is the highest since the FootballScoop awards program launched, and only Stanford's 2012 unit (4.07 per game) managed to top the four sack per game mark. Utah also recorded 100 tackles for loss this season, which ranks fourth nationally. The defensive line's overwhelming success was a key cog in Utah's turnaround from 5-7 in 2013 to 8-4 in 2014.

Key Stats

  • 1st in sacks (4.33 per game)
  • 4.33 sacks per game is the highest in at least seven seasons
  • 4th in tackles for loss (8.33 per game)
  • Nate Orchard ranks second in sacks (17.5)
Ikaika Malloe

Ikaika Malloe, Utah State

There may not be a more well-rounded defensive line in college football than the one in Logan, Utah. The Aggies rank third nationally in sacks, and with their upcoming bowl game will likely become one just seven teams in the past seven seasons to record 50 sacks in a season. The Aggies also rank second nationally in tackles for loss while placing 16th in yards per carry allowed. Utah State joins Missouri as the only clubs in college football to rank among the top 10 in sacks and tackles for loss and in the top 20 in yards per carry allowed.

Key Stats

  • 3rd in sacks (47)
  • 2nd in tackles for loss (107)
  • 16th in yards per carry allowed (3.28)
  • One of two teams (Missouri) to be top 10 in sacks/TFL and top 20 in yards per carry allowed
Dan Brooks
Marion Hobby

Dan Brooks and Marion Hobby, Clemson

Clemson not only leads the country in total defense and yards per play, the Tigers rank sixth in rushing defense, second in yards per carry and fourth in sacks per game. But their most impressive metric is without a doubt tackles for loss - their 10.17 TFL per game average not only leads college football, it's the best mark over the past seven seasons. No one else has even hit 9.5 TFL per game over that span. Clemson also ranks second in third down defense. Defensive end Vic Beasley, an All-America candidate, ranks eighth in sacks and ninth in tackles for loss nationally.

Key Stats

  • 10.17 tackles for loss per game is the most in at least the past seven seasons
  • 2nd in yards per carry allowed (2.78)
  • 4th in sacks per game (3.67)
  • DE Vic Beasley is top 10 nationally in sacks and TFL
Sean Spencer

Sean Spencer, Penn State

Call Penn State's defensive front the brick wall, because no team stuffed the run better than the Nittany Lions in 2014. Penn State leads the nation in rushing defense and yards per carry allowed, and displayed week-to-week excellence by not allowing a single opponent to top four yards per carry and by holding eight opponents to less than three yards per carry. All this is from a defense that ranked 37th in rushing defense and 42nd in yards per carry last season. The Nittany Lions also rank 18th nationally in tackles for loss this season.

Key Stats

  • 1st in rushing defense (84.75 yards per game allowed)
  • 1st in yards per carry allowed (2.56)
  • 8th in rushes of 10-plus yards allowed (38)
  • 18th in tackles for loss (87)

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