FootballScoop is proud to announce that Casey Jacobsen and Nathan Turner are the 2019 FootballScoop NAIA Coordinators of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.
The Morningside Mustangs will enter the 2020 season having won the last two national championships and riding a 29-game winning streak. The program is 42-1 over its last three seasons, and its last regular-season loss came to Wisconsin-Whitewater on Sept. 24, 2016.
You don't win that much without dominating on both sides of the ball and, after honoring the offense in 2018, voters honored Morningside's defensive coordinators in 2019.
The Mustangs ranked fourth in NAIA at 13 points allowed per game. Morningside pitched four shutouts, including two consecutive, and limited another to seven points. In fact, for one stretch this season the Mustangs did not allow a single point in the first, second or third quarters in four consecutive games and pitched a shutout in five consecutive first quarters.
In 14 games this season, Morningside allowed a total of 17 first quarter points. In 56 individual quarters, Morningside pitched 37 shutouts. No opponent scored in all four quarters, and only three out of 14 scored in three.
Morningside specialized in stopping the run. Opponents attempted 435 runs that traveled just 1,040 yards -- an average of 2.4 a pop -- and scored a scant five touchdowns. Their 2.4 per carry average and 74.3 per game average both ranked third in NAIA. That run defense was bolstered by a pass rush that booked 3.2 sacks per game, 10th nationally.
The Mustangs were no slouch against the pass, though. They permitted completions on just 50.4 percent of 478 opponent passes, which went for 2,743 yards (5.74 per attempt) with 19 touchdowns against 15 interceptions. As a unit, Morningside surrendered 270.2 yards per game and 4.1 per play.
Opponents converted 59 third downs in 205 tries, a 28.8 percent rate that placed Morningside 10th in NAIA.
Solsma was named the NAIA's National Player of the Year in addition to being the NAIA First Team All-American quarterback. Niles and his 34 touchdowns made the NAIA's second team. Solsma, Ponder, Niles, Els, senior tight end Riley Rischling, senior offensive tackle Garrett Temme and senior offensive lineman Garrit Shanle were named First Team All-Great Plains Athletic Conference honorees, with Solsma winning the conference's Offensive Player of the Year award.
Jacobsen is the longest-tenured of head coach Steve Ryan's assistants, having compiled 16 years of service in Sioux City. The Buena Vista University graduate joined the coaching profession at his alma mater, working as assistant offensive line coach in 2002 and defensive line coach in 2003 before arriving at Morningside in 2004.
Turner has spent 13 years at Morningside. Like Jacobsen, he coached briefly at his alma mater before arriving in Sioux City; Turner was an award-winning player at Eastern Oregon before joining the coaching staff in 2004, where he coached running backs and served as video 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 (Brock Caraboa [Marian], Kevin Griffin/Calvin Morgan [Langston], Matt Myers [Kansas Wesleyan] and Jacobsen and Turner) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Jacobsen and Turner will receive their awards and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the NAIA Coordinator of the Year award are Joe Woodley (Grand View [Iowa], 2013), Ken Fasnacht (Southern Oregon, 2014), Scott Power (Marian [Ind.], 2015), Joey Didier and Eric Wagoner (Saint Francis [Ind.], 2016), Patrick Donley and Trevor Miller (Saint Francis [Ind.], 2017), and Lucas Lueders (Morningside, 2018).
3rd Nationally - Scoring Defense
3rd Nationally - Rushing Defense
6th Nationally - Total Defense
14-0 National Champions
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.