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Jeff Horton - FootballScoop 2016 Running Backs Coach of the Year

FootballScoop is proud to announce that Jeff Horton is the 2016 FootballScoop Running Backs Coach of the Year presented by ProGrass as selected by prior winners.

Having a player break the FBS all-time rushing record would be a great season for any running backs coach, but the 2016 campaign was so much more for Horton and the San Diego State running backs.

Off the top, Donnel Pumphrey again charged the Aztecs' attack, carrying 349 times for 2,133 yards and 17 touchdowns. Pumphrey led the nation in carries and rushing yards while placing tied for 11th in touchdowns. Pumphrey topped the 100-yard barrier 11 times in 14 games -- and that doesn't include a 98-yard effort in San Diego State's season opener -- and busted the 200-yard mark four times -- not including a 198-yard game at Nevada. Pumprhey finished his season with a 19-carry, 115-yard game in a 34-10 blowout of Houston in the Las Vegas Bowl, passing Ron Dayne for the FBS all-time record with 6,405 yards on 1,059 carries. (In an odd twist of history, Horton was also on the sidelines when Dayne set the record Pumphrey eventually broke; he was Wisconsin's quarterbacks coach at the time.)

But, again, there was more to this unit than Pumphrey's prolific rushing ability.

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For starters, Pumphrey was also an elite pass-catcher. He collected 27 receptions for 231 yards on the season, making him the first player in FBS history to top 2,000 scrimmage yards in three consecutive seasons.

Beyond Pumphrey, junior Rashaad Penny proved to be one of the best back-ups in college football, carrying 136 times for 1,018 yards and 11 touchdowns. He hit triple figures in five games and busted the 200-yard barrier once while also catching 15 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman Juwan Washington also posted 55 carries for 441 yards and six scores on the year.

Pumphrey and Penny became the first duo in FBS history to record a 2,000-yard season and a 1,000-yard season at the same time. As a team, San Diego State finished seventh nationally in rushing and yards per carry at 262.9 yards per game and 5.79 per carry. As a unit, San Diego State placed 29th in yards per play and scoring en route to an 11-3 season and a second consecutive Mountain West championship.

Pumphrey was named the Mountain West's Offensive Player of the Year and a First-Team All-Mountain West running back, while Penny earned a spot on the First Team as a returner.


A Nevada graduate, Horton recently completed his sixth season on Rocky Long's staff in San Diego; he was promoted to associate head coach and offensive coordinator in 2015. With three decades in the business, Horton has spent time in the NFL as an an assistant with the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions and served as head coach at Nevada and UNLV from 1993-98. He was the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and later interim head coach at Minnesota before arriving at San Diego State.

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 (Justin Hill [Tulsa], Jim Mastro [Washington State], Lance Taylor [Stanford] and Horton) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.

Horton will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.

Previous winners of the Running Backs Coach of the Year award are Burton Burns (Alabama, 2008), Willie Taggart (Stanford, 2009), Jim Mastro (Nevada, 2010), Frank Wilson (LSU, 2011), Calvin Magee (Arizona, 2012), Jeff Lebby (Baylor, 2013), Bryan McClendon (Georgia, 2014) and Lance Taylor (Stanford, 2015).


7th Nationally - Rushing

FBS all-time rushing record holder

7th Nationally - Yards Per Carry

1st team with 2K + 1K rushers


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