Phil Snow – Baylor University

FootballScoop is proud to announce that Phil Snow is the recipient of the 2019 FootballScoop Defensive Coordinator of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.

Playing football in the Big 12 is often a devil’s bargain. In order to win like Oklahoma, you’ve got to score like Oklahoma, which can lead to dividends on the scoreboard but can also leave defensive players feeling like second-class citizens in their own program.

Baylor did not win the Big 12 in 2019, but the Bears came awfully close. And they did so thanks to a hard-hitting, fundamentally sound defense.

The Bears’ 2019 performance was part of a 3-year turnaround. For instance, in Snow’s first year in Waco, his defense ranked 117th nationally in yards per play. Last year was slightly worse, 119th. This year’s defense? It ranked 20th.

Scoring defense told a similar story, where the Bears moved from 114th in 2017, to 91st last season, to 18th in 2019.

As a point of reference: Baylor’s 2019 defense is one of just two Big 12 defenses in the past five years to hold their opponents under 20 points per game.

Baylor was also the only Big 12 defense to hold opponents under five yards per play.

Opponents ran the ball 547 times for an even 2,000 yards — a 3.66 yards per carry average that was the worst in the Big 12. Opposing passers didn’t fare much better, completing 60.2 percent of their 485 passes for 3,046 yards (6.3 per attempt) with 15 touchdowns against 17 interceptions, good for a 116.16 efficiency rating that put Baylor once again atop the Big 12.

Baylor also led the Big 12 by a wide margin in turnovers. Their 30 takeaways was 50 percent better than second-place TCU (20), a number that tied for second nationally. Baylor tied for sixth nationally with 46 sacks, a full 10 sacks ahead of second-place Oklahoma.

Speaking of Oklahoma, Baylor held the Sooners to 10 first-half points in their first meeting and then, in their Big 12 Championship rematch, to 23 points in regulation. That marked OU’s lowest 60-minute output since Sept. 3, 2016 — a span of 54 games. Baylor also held Texas to a season-low 10, Kansas State to a season-low 12, and Kansas to a season-worst 6.

All that helped Baylor become the first Power 5 team in history to go from 11 losses to 11 victories in a 3-year span.

Defensive end James Lynch was named Dave Campbell’s Texas Football‘s Player of the Year across the state of Texas and the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for collecting 12.5 sacks, 18.5 TFLs, three forced fumbles, two blocked kicks and five pass breakups, the second most on the team. Lynch was joined by fellow d-lineman Bravvion Roy on the All-Big 12 First Team, while linebackers Terrel Bernard and Clay Johnston and defensive backs Grayland Arnold and Chris Miller made the Second Team.

A Cal State-Hayward graduate, Snow began coaching as an undergraduate at Berkeley (Calif.) High School in 1976. His first college job came at Laney College in 1979, and later coached at Boise State, Cal, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington, the Detroit Lions, Eastern Michigan and Temple. He joined Owls head coach Matt Rhule in arriving at Baylor ahead of the 2017 season.

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 (Jeff Hafley/Greg Mattison [Ohio State], Dan Lanning [Georgia], Morgan Scalley [Utah] and Snow) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.

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

Previous winners of the Defensive Coordinator of the Year award are Nick Holt (USC, 2008), Kirby Smart (Alabama, 2009), Vic Fangio (Stanford, 2010), John Chavis (LSU, 2011), Bob Diaco (Notre Dame, 2012), Pat Narduzzi (Michigan State, 2013), Venables (Clemson, 2014), Don Brown (Boston College, 2015), Jim Leavitt (Colorado, 2016), Kevin Steele (Auburn, 2017) and Bob Shoop (Mississippi State, 2018).

keystats

2nd Nationally – Takeaways           18th Nationally – Scoring
6th Nationally – Sacks           10-win turnaround from 2017-19

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.