FootballScoop is proud to announce that Chris Kappas is the 2015 FootballScoop Division III Coordinator of the Year presented by ProGrass.
Mount Union returned to glory in 2015, and did in part thanks to a suffocating, unforgiving defense.
The Purple Raiders led Division III by allowing 197.6 yards per game and a scant 3.16 yards per play. They were the only team in college football this fall to hold opponents under 200 yards per game.
Kappas' defense was led by a stone wall of a front that led Division III in rushing defense by permitting only 828 yards and seven touchdowns on 506 carries -- just 1.64 per carry. The Purple Raiders also put opposing passers on their backs 68 times this fall (4.53 per game), also the most in the nation.
Mount was also stout against the pass, allowing 216 completions on 431 attempts for only 2,136 yards (4.96 per attempt) with 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, good enough to rank seventh in Division III with a 92.28 opposing passer rating.
The Purple Raiders also led Division III in third down defense (21.4 percent conversion rate) and ranked 14th with 8.7 tackles for loss per game.
Each of those statistics informed a defense that again led college football by allowing only 9.3 points per game. That figure includes holding eight of their 15 opponents to single digits and three shutouts.
Individually, defensive lineman Tom Lally was named a First Team All-American by D3Football.com, the Associated Press and the AFCA. Mount Union defenders swept the Ohio Athletic Conference defensive MVP awards, with Lally earning the league's top defensive lineman honor, Tre Jones winning the Lee Tressel Award as the OAC's top defensive back, and Hank Spencer claiming the Gene Slaughter Award as the conference's best linebacker. All told, seven Purple Raiders made the First Team All-OAC defense.
Like many on the Mont Union staff, Kappas is a Mount Union graduate. After matriculating in 2008, Kappas spent three years coaching with Mount Union before a three-year stint at Bowling Green. Now in his second run with the Purple Raiders, Kappas recently completed his third season as the club's defensive play-caller.
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 (Dustin Beurer [Albion], Chris Knapp [Wesley], Wallie Kuchinski [St. Thomas] and Kappas) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Kappas will be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention next week.
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) and Jackson Vaughan (Linfield, 2014).
1st Nationally - Total Defense
1st Nationally - Sacks
1st Nationally - Rushing Defense
1st Nationally - Scoring Defense
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