FootballScoop is proud to announce that Charles Clark and Joe Tumpkin are the 2016 FootballScoop Defensive Backs Coaches of the Year presented by ProGrass as selected by prior winners.
Colorado's stunning worst-to-first success was spearheaded by a balanced offense and a defense that was flat out dangerous to throw the ball against.
In short, opposing passers posted the third-worst rating in college football. Their 49.8 percent completion rate was No. 4 in the country, their 5.7 yards per attempt average was tied for third their 18 touchdowns on 472 attempts was among the best ratios in college football, and their 15 interceptions was tied for 22nd nationally.
The Buffs produced gems such as Oregon State's 13-of-32 performance in which the Beavers threw for only 100 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions (a 54.38 quarterback rating) or Stanford's 16-of-29 for 170 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions, a gargantuan performance in a 10-5 Buffaloes win.
In a win-or-stay home regular season finale against Utah, Colorado limited the Utes to 13 completions on 40 attempts for 160 yards with a touchdown and two picks in a 27-22 Buffs victory, sending them to the Pac-12 Championship. Even in the Pac-12 title game, a Colorado loss, the Buffs secondary held Heisman candidate Jake Browning to 9-of-24 passing for 118 yards, the second-worst rating of Browning's season.
Colorado's secondary actively made life difficult for opposing passers and wide receivers by disrupting as many passes as any group in college football. The Buffaloes ranked second nationally with 89 passes defended and 74 pass breakups, each the most in the country on a per game basis.
As a group, Colorado placed 16th in FBS with 4.87 yards per play allowed and placed 20th with 21.7 points per game allowed.
Colorado placed three of its defensive backfield starters on the All-Pac-12 team, with Chidobe Awuzie, Tedric Thompson and Ahkello Witherspoon all netting second-team nods.
Clark, who coaches cornerbacks for the Buffs, has completed four years on staff in Boulder. A former Ole Miss player, Clark followed his former coach David Cutcliffe into coaching as a graduate assistant at Duke before joining Mike MacIntyre's staff at San Jose State and later following him to Colorado.
A Michigan Tech graduate, Tumpkin jumped into coaching as a graduate assistant at Lakeland College and Northern Michigan before landing his first full-time job at Defiance College in 1996. He made stops at Southern Illinois, Sam Houston State, SMU, Pittsburgh and a 5-year stint as defensive coordinator at Central Michigan before joining Colorado's staff as safeties coach in 2015.
“Number one, they’ve done a great job the last couple of years working with their players to get them to this points; these were the fruits of a lot of investment by both Joe and Charles and the players," MacIntyre said. "Of course this year, they did a phenomenal job of having their guys play really tight coverage. We were very consistent on the back end, just very, very sound. There were only a few busted coverages, and that shows good coaching. They complement each other very well and do a great job working together.”
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 (Torrian Gray [Florida], Jim Leonhard [Wisconsin], Greg Schiano/Kerry Coombs [Ohio State], Scot Sloan/Bryan Brown [Appalachian State], Brian Smith/Michael Zordich [Michigan] and Clark and Tumpkin) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Clark and Tumpkin will receive their award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Defensive Backs Coach of the Year award are Tim Billings (Wake Forest, 2008), Everett Withers and Troy Douglas (North Carolina, 2009), Chad Glasgow and Clay Jennings (TCU, 2010), Ron Cooper (LSU, 2011), Bill Busch and Kendrick Shaver (Utah State, 2012), Jeremy Pruitt (Florida State, 2013), Dave Wommack and Jason Jones (Ole Miss, 2014) and Mike Reed (Clemson, 2015).
3rd Nationally - Yards Per Attempt
3rd Nationally - Pass Efficiency Defense
2nd Nationally - Passes Defended
4th Nationally - Opp. Completion %
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