FootballScoop is proud to announce that Brian Callahan and Bill Kenney are the 2016 FootballScoop Offensive Line Coaches of the Year presented by ProGrass as selected by prior winners.
Western Michigan completed a historic season in 2016. Just three seasons after posting a 1-11 record, the Broncos ran through the MAC, posting their first 13-0 record, won their first MAC championship game and became just the second MAC program to appear in a New Year's Six game in the BCS/CFP era.
And the bedrock of it all was the offensive line.
The Broncos' offensive line allowed quarterback Zach Terrell to flourish, as he ranked fourth nationally in passing efficiency with a 70.8 percent completion rate for 9.7 yards per attempt with 32 touchdowns against three interceptions.
The offensive line allowed the Broncos to have one of the best running attacks in college football, averaging 237 yards per game on 5.11 yards per carry.
As a unit, Western Michigan ranked 12th with a 6.78 yards per play average and placed eighth with a 43.5 scoring average. A large part of that success came in the offensive line's ability to limit negative plays. Opponents secured only 14 sacks against 350 pass attempts -- good for one sack for each 25 passes. In 953 total snaps, Callahan's unit permitted just 54 tackles for loss, the fourth-fewest in college football on a per game basis.
The Broncos led the nation on third downs, converting 97-of-177 attempts, a 54.8 percent conversion rate that stands as the best in FBS over the past two seasons. Western Michigan scored on 62-of-65 red zone trips, third best in FBS, and scored touchdowns on 47 of them.
Western Michigan placed three lineman on the All-MAC team; right tackle Taylor Morton and left tackle Chukwuma Okorafo earned First Team nods, and center John Keenoy earned a spot on the Second Team.
Callahan is a longtime offensive line coach, beginning with his first job at Chicago's Gordon Tech High School in 1992. After helping on staffs at Eastern Michigan, Louisville, Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, Callahan was named offensive line coach at Northern Michigan in 1998 before moving on to coach lines at UTEP, Akron and Eastern Illinois. He joined P.J. Fleck's original staff at Western Michigan in 2013.
Kenney began coaching at Norwich University in 1982 and then spent time in the high school ranks before joining Tom Osborne's staff as a graduate assistant at Nebraska in 1986-87. He then moved on to Penn State where, over a course of 23 seasons he rose from a GA to coach the Nittany Lions' offensive linemen and tight ends while also coordinating the program's recruiting efforts. He joined Fleck's staff in 2013 as offensive tackles/tight ends coach.
"Coach Callahan and Coach Kenney are two of the best offensive line coaches in the country," Fleck said. "They work tremendously well cohesively and come up with the best scheme and get the most out of our players as possible. They are both very deserving of the award and they represent Western Michigan and our players in a first class fashion."
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 (Bill Bedenbaugh [Oklahoma], Mike Bloesch [Tulsa], Neil Callaway [USC], Mario Cristobal/Brent Key [Alabama], Tim Drevno [Michigan], Herb Hand [Auburn], Ashley Ingram/Chris Culton [Navy] and Callahan and Kenney) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Callahan and Kenney will receive their award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Offensive Line Coach of the Year award are Steve Greatwood (Oregon, 2008), Tony Wise (Pittsburgh, 2009), Bob Bostad (Wisconsin, 2010) Greg Studrawa (LSU, 2011), Ed Warinner (Ohio State, 2012 and 2014), Mike Bloomgren (Stanford, 2013) and Tom Manning (Toledo, 2015).
14th Nationally - Sacks Allowed
1st Nationally - 3rd Down Conversions
6th Nationally - TFLs Allowed
3rd Nationally - Red Zone Offense
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