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2014 Special Teams Coordinator 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 19th.

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 Special Teams Coordinator of the Year award are James Shibest (Ole Miss, 2008), Mike Tolleson (Texas, 2009), Joe Robinson (LSU, 2010), John Baxter (USC, 2011), D.J. Durkin (Florida, 2012), and Jeff Ulbrich (UCLA, 2013)

Sean Snyder

Sean Snyder, Kansas State

It's been another banner year for one of the best-coached special teams units in the country. Kansas State leads the nation in punt returns, taking back 21 punts for an 18.43-yard average with two touchdowns, thanks to ace return man Tyler Lockett, and rank 16th in kickoff returns, with another touchdown. The Wildcats rank ninth nationally in opponent kickoff returns and allowed only nine returns on 41 punts. Finally, kicker Matthew McCrane burst on the scene in late September to rank second nationally in field goal kicking, hitting 14 of 15 attempts.

Key Stats

  • 1st in punt returns (18.43 yards per return, two touchdowns)
  • 9th in opponent kickoff returns (17.36 yards per return)
  • Matthew McCrane ranks 2nd in field goal kicking (93.3 percent)
  • 16th in kickoff returns (23.79 yards per return)
Daric Riley

Daric Riley, UAB

UAB boasted the best kickoff return unit in college football in 2014. The Blazers led the nation in total kickoff return yards - 118 yards ahead of second-place Oregon State - kickoff return average and, most importantly, kick return touchdowns. J.J. Nelson took four kicks back for touchdowns, and no other player in FBS had three kick return scores. Nelson's first kick return helped UAB to a key 42-39 win over Western Kentucky. The Blazers also ranked among the top 35 nationally in kickoffs, punting and opponent field goals.

Key Stats

  • 1st in total kickoff returns (1,323 yards)
  • 1st in kickoff return average (28.15)
  • 1st in kickoff return touchdowns (four)
  • 25th in kickoffs (62.7 yard average)
Robby Discher

Robby Discher, Oklahoma State

The only graduate assistant ever named a finalist for a FootballScoop Coach of the Year award, Discher improved Oklahoma State's special teams dramatically in his first year on staff. Discher boosted the Pokes' punting average by three yards an attempt - improving their ranking nearly 60 spots nationally in the process - while also bumping kicker Ben Grogan's field goal percentage by nearly 20 points, up from 61.1% (99th nationally) to 79.2% (36th). Behind dynamic return man Tyreek Hill, Oklahoma State returned three kicks for touchdowns this fall, including their most important touchdown of the year - a 92-yard punt return to send their Bedlam rivalry into overtime en route to a 38-35 win, quite literally extending their 2014 season into a Cactus Bowl berth against Washington.

Key Stats

  • 58 spot improvement in punting (42.0 yards per attempt)
  • 73 spot improvement in field goal kicking (79.2%)
  • t-1st in kicks/punts blocked (six)
  • 3 kicks/punts returned for touchdowns
Marty Biagi

* Marty Biagi, Southern

Biagi is not eligible for the overall FootballScoop Special Teams Coordinator of the Year award as it is strictly an FBS award, but Biagi's work with the Southern special teams was so impactful they deserved mention among the finalists. Southern notched an incredible eight special teams touchdowns this year, as three separate players returned kickoffs for a total of four touchdowns, returned three punts for touchdowns and blocked a punt for a score. The eight special teams scored are believed to be an FCS record. The Jaguars have notched a total of 14 special teams touchdowns in the past three seasons.

 Key Stats

  • 4 kickoffs returned for touchdowns
  • 2 punts returned for touchdowns
  • 2 blocked punts
  • 1 blocked punt returned for a touchdown
  • 1 fumbled punt returned for a touchdown

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