Brad Spencer – North Central College

FootballScoop is proud to announce that Brad Spencer is the 2019 FootballScoop Division III Coordinator of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.

For years, the Stagg Bowl has been a monopoly the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon can only dream of. Before Mary Hardin-Baylor broke through 2016, the last Division III school to win its first national championship was Linfield College in 2004, with Mount Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater gobbling up all 10 in between. Prior to that, the latest first-time winner was Pacific Lutheran, way back in 1999.

North Central broke through in 2019. And they did so in emphatic fashion.

For starters, North Central was one of three offenses in all of college football to average more than 50 points per game. The Cardinals hit the half a century mark seven times in 15 tries, including blowouts of 77-0 over North Park, 62-3 over Caroll, 82-7 over Elmhurst, 69-14 over Illinois Wesleyan and 51-15 over Wabash in a D3 playoff game.

In perhaps one of the most epic runs to the Division III title in history, North Central stared down Mount Union’s No. 1-ranked offense and outplayed the Purple Raiders when it mattered most, winning a second-round playoff game 59-52. After winning a semifinal game by 31 points on the road, North Central blew out Wisconsin-Whitewater in the Stagg Bowl, 41-14. The 27-point gap was the largest margin of victory in the Stagg Bowl since 2013.

North Central put those numbers up because Spencer’s offense mastered the art of marrying volume with efficiency in the passing game.

Quarterback Broc Rutter completed 71 percent of his 435 passes for 4,591 yards with 56 touchdowns against just five interceptions. That 306.7 yards per game average placed him 10th nationally, and his 10.5 yards per attempt and 11.2-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio made him Division III’s second most efficient passer. His top target was Andrew Kamienski snared 133 passes for 2,016 yards with 31 touchdowns, meaning an average game saw him put up 133 yards and two scores.

On the ground, Ethan Greenfield posted 2,169 yards and 29 touchdowns on 7.6 per carry. Four Cardinals rushed for at least 300 yards, and five amassed at least 200 receiving yards.

In addition to their No. 2 ranking in scoring, North Central also ranked second in total offense (551.3 yards per game), third in passing efficiency (194.84), sixth in third down conversions (53.3 percent), first in red zone scores (92.7 percent) and led Division III in first downs (388).

Rudder won the Gagliardi Trophy as the top player in Division III. Rudder, Kamienski and guard Sharmore Clarke were named First Team All-Americans by D3Football.com, and Greenfield made the Second Team.

Spencer is a North Central graduate who has spent his entire adult life in Cardinal red. The former North Central wide receiver moved to the coaching staff as wide receivers/tight ends coach in 2004, where he remained until a promotion to offensive coordinator in 2015. Spencer still coaches North Central’s wide receivers and also serves as the club’s assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator.

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 (Geoff Dartt [Mount Union], Larry Harmon [Mary Hardin-Baylor], CJ Nightingale [Wheaton] and Spencer) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.

Spencer 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), Larry Harmon (Mary Hardin-Baylor [Texas], 2017) and Mike Fox (Brockport [N.Y.], 2018).

keystats

2nd Nationally – Scoring           1st Nationally – Red Zone Conversions 
2nd Nationally – Total Offense           Division III National Champions

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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.