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Ron Roberts & Caleb Collins -- 2021 FootballScoop Linebackers Coaches of the year

Baylor's linebacker corps was the spine of one of college football's best defenses.

FootballScoop is proud to announce that Ron Roberts and Caleb Collins (Baylor) are the 2021 FootballScoop Linebackers Coaches of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.

If you're a defensive guy, does it get any better than winning a championship on a goal line stand? 

On Dec. 4, No. 5 Oklahoma State had a first-and-goal at Baylor's 2-yard line with 1:27 left to play. The Bears hadn't scored in the second half; they had no timeouts. A Cowboy touchdown was likely fatal for Baylor. First down produced a 1-yard carry. Not the worst thing in the world for the Cowboys: it cut the distance to pay dirt in half and kept the clock moving. Second down saw another under center run that went nowhere. Third down: a play-action pass, incomplete. And then on fourth down, snapped with half a minute to play: safety Jairon McVea beat running back Dezmon Jackson to the pylon and knocked him out of bounds, but it was outside linebacker Matt Jones that forced him outside in the first place.

Ron Roberts

That was the story for Baylor in 2021, the team that went from 2-7 to Big 12 champions, corralling some of the most potent offenses in college football without a single 4-star recruit among their linebacking corps.

The Bears were led by senior linebacker Terrel Bernard and junior Dillon Doyle. Bernard paced the club with 103 tackles (50th nationally) and 7.5 sacks (52nd), while placing second on the club with 12.5 TFLs (77th). Doyle collected 90 tackles, 10 TFLs, one sack and one interception. 

Bernard and Doyle both posted 10 stops in the Big 12 Championship, and registered a combined 25 in the Sugar Bowl victory over Ole Miss -- eight from Doyle and 17 by Bernard, earning him Game MVP honors.

Caleb Collins

Behind Bernard and Doyle, sophomore linebacker Matt Jones tallied 52 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, two sacks and one interception. Sophomore Garmon Randolph, senior Ashton Logan, senior Bryson Jackson, junior Victor Obi, freshman Brooks Miller, and sophomore Will Williams contributed 88 tackles, 16 TFLs, and 7.5 sacks. 

As a unit, Baylor finished 10th nationally at 18.3 points per game, 11th in yard per carry (3.32), and 26th in pass efficiency defense (121.63). 

Bernard was a First Team All-Big 12 honoree, while Doyle earned Honorable Mention. 

CoY-2021

Also Baylor's defensive coordinator, Roberts played at the College of the Sequoias and Tennessee-Martin. He entered coaching in 1990 as an assistant in the Tennessee high school ranks and has coordinated defenses at six different universities from Division III to the Big 12. Roberts owns an 89-45 record with six conference championships and six playoff appearances as the head coach at Delta State and Southeastern Louisiana, including a berth in the 2010 Division II national championship. He joined Baylor's staff in 2020 after two years coordinating Louisiana's defense.

One of Roberts' players at Southeastern Louisiana, Collins graduated in 2016 and entered coaching in high school ball near his native Houston. He spent three years as a quality control coach at LSU before joining Baylor's staff in 2020 in the same role. Collins was promoted to outside linebackers coach when Joey McGuire took over as Texas Tech's head coach in November. 

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 (Pete Golding and Sal Sunseri [Alabama], Jim Knowles [Oklahoma State], Mike Tressel [Cincinnati], Seth Wallace [Iowa], Roberts and Collins) 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 Linebackers Coach of the Year award are Bill McGovern (Boston College, 2008), Bob Fraser (Rutgers, 2009), Luke Fickell (Ohio State, 2010), Dave Huxtable (Wisconsin, 2011), Bob Gregory (Boise State, 2012), Jim Reid and LeVar Woods (Iowa, 2013), Jeff Casteel (Arizona, 2014), Dave Aranda and Tim Tibesear (Wisconsin, 2015), Mike Siravo (Temple, 2016), Tyson Veidt (Iowa State, 2017), Dave Aranda (LSU, 2018), Tim DeRuyter and Peter Sirmon (Cal, 2019), and Joe Gillespie (Tulsa, 2020). 

keystats

Two players with 90+ tackles

Big 12 champions

10th Nationally -- Scoring Defense

Sugar Bowl champions


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