FootballScoop is proud to announce that Blake Gideon is the 2019 FootballScoop Special Teams Coordinator of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.
Gideon is one of the rising stars in the coaching profession, and Houston's special teams were a showcase why.
Amid an otherwise down season for the Cougars, the special teams were an undisputed bright spot. For starters, Houston blocked six kicks, the most in the nation.
Houston was also one of the best in the nation at covering kickoffs, limiting opponents to an average of 17.6 yards on 31 returns, a figure that rated 14th nationally.
Houston also led the American in net punting, averaging 43.6 yards per boot.
The Coogs were solid in the return game, returning 16 punts for 182 yards and two touchdowns, which ranked among the top 30 in the country. Houston's kick return unit averaged 21.7 yards a return and took back two kicks for scores.
Thanks to those exploits, Houston was the only team in FBS to return two punts and two kickoffs for scores in 2019.
Because of their accomplishments in the return game, the average kickoff by a Houston opponent traveled 59.1 yards, the 22nd shortest in college football.
Coog punter Dane Roy was a Ray Guy Award finalist, as his 46.9-yard average set a school record.
A 2011 Texas graduate and the son of a high school coach, Gideon spent 2012-13 playing in the NFL and joined the coaching profession in 2014 as a graduate assistant under Will Muschamp at Florida. He finished his GA stint at Auburn and rose quickly from there, taking full-time jobs at Western Carolina and Georgia State before joining the Houston staff ahead of the 2019 campaign. He has since taken a job as the special teams coordinator at Ole Miss.
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 (Pete Lembo [Memphis], Josh Martin [SMU] and Gideon) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Gideon will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Special Teams Coordinator of the Year award are James Shibest (Ole Miss, 2008 and Virginia Tech, 2017), Mike Tolleson (Texas, 2009), Joe Robinson (LSU, 2010), John Baxter (USC, 2011), D.J. Durkin (Florida, 2012), Jeff Ulbrich (UCLA, 2013), Robby Discher (Oklahoma State, 2014), Sean Snyder (Kansas State, 2015), Andre Powell (Pittsburgh, 2016) and Jeff Banks (Alabama, 2018).
1st Nationally - Blocked Kicks
2 Punt Return TDs
14th Nationally - Opponent Punt Returns
2 Kick Return TDs
Since 1965, the AstroTurf brand has been driven by forward thinking ingenuity. Today AstroTurf continuously improves its system design to deliver playing surfaces with the most realistic, sport-specific performance, longest lasting durability, and sound player protection. For more information please visit AstroTurf.com
Created in 1999, FootballScoop.com is the premier source for coaching job information and has long been the most widely viewed website by coaches, athletic directors, strength & conditioning coaches, operations and equipment staff across America. As the leading coaching job information venue, FootballScoop.com serves our viewers’ needs by providing first hand, timely & accurate information for our audience. FootballScoop.com is the premier provider of official job postings.