FootballScoop is proud to announce that Shaun Nua (Michigan) is the 2021 FootballScoop Defensive Line Coach of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.
In 2021, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson had the best individual season a defensive player can reasonably have.
Coming off All-Big Ten seasons as a freshman and a sophomore, but a injury- and pandemic-shortened junior season, Hutchinson simply accessed another level as a senior. Hutchinson finished third on the team with 69 tackles, led the club with 16.5 tackles for loss, and set a school record with 14 sacks, third most in the nation. Among those 14 sacks, 2.5 came against Washington, three came at Penn State's expense, and the Wolverine legacy dumped Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud in Michigan's breakthrough 42-27 victory.
Hutchinson won the Big Ten defensive player of the year award, the Lombardi Award, the Ted Hendricks Award, the Lott IMPACT Trophy, and was named the Big Ten championship game MVP. The consensus All-American became the third defensive player to finish runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, and just the second defensive lineman to do so in the trophy's 86-year history.
But Hutchinson was not a one-man defensive front. Outside linebacker David Ojabo collected 11 sacks, and 10 more defenders combined to produce 34 total sacks on the season.
The Big Ten champions and College Football Playoff semifinalists were a top 30 unit against the run (126.4 yards per game) and the pass (118.35 opposing passer rating), while also ranking 14th in yards per play (4.93) and eighth in scoring (17.4 points per game).
A BYU graduate, Nua was a seventh round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005 and lasted four seasons in the NFL, collecting a Super Bowl ring as a member of the '06 Steelers. He entered coaching at his alma mater, then earned his first full-time job as Navy's defensive line coach in 2012. He spent the 2018 season at Arizona State, then joined Jim Harbaugh's staff the following year.
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 (Joe Bob Clements [Oklahoma State], Charlie Partridge [Pittsburgh], Tray Scott [Georgia], Freddie Roach [Alabama] and Nua) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Previous winners of the Defensive Line Coach of the Year award are Dick Bumpas (TCU, 2008), Jim Panagos (Central Florida, 2009), Bill Kirelawich (West Virginia, 2010), Brick Haley (LSU, 2011), Randy Hart (Stanford, 2012), Ron Burton (Michigan State, 2013), Craig Kuligowski (Missouri, 2014), Bo Davis (Alabama, 2015), Greg Mattison (Michigan, 2016), Larry Johnson (Ohio State, 2017), Ron Burton and Chuck Bullough (Michigan State, 2018), David Turner (Florida, 2019), and Charlie Partridge (Pittsburgh, 2020).
8th Nationally -- Scoring Defense
Big Ten champions
14th Nationally -- Yards Per Play
Heisman Trophy runner up
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