FootballScoop is proud to announce that Rich Wright (Northwest Missouri State) is the 2014 Division II Coordinator of the Year presented by ProGrass.
Richt Wright helped Northwest Missouri State post a perfect 15-0 season punctuated by a national championship in 2013. And then his defense got better.
After ranking ninth in Division II in total defense a year ago, Wright's Bearcats led not only their division but the entire NCAA by allowing just 213.1 yards per game.
The Bearcats also ranked among the top five nationally in rushing defense, passing defense, pass efficiency defense, scoring defense, third down defense, and first downs defense. In fact, the only major statistical category where Northwest Missouri State did not rank among the top five was red zone defense, where the Bearcats ranked a respectable 31st.
In 12 games this fall, Northwest Missouri State held opponents to 15 points or fewer nine times.
Additionally, eight foes finished with less than 200 yards of total offense, and one finished with a grand total of 78 yards.
Wright's defense helped Northwest Missouri State post a 10-2 mark and win a second consecutive Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship.
Wright jumped into coaching as an undergraduate, serving at Cortland State before earning his degree at Dana College in Nebraska. He coached as a graduate assistant at Northwest Missouri State in 1995-96, and then made stops at William Penn College, Central Methodist, Dakota State and St. Ambrose. He returned to Northwest Missouri State in 2004 as defensive line coach and special teams coordinator, and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2011.
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 (Hunter Hughes [Colorado State-Pueblo], Josh Kline [Shepherd], Eric Tripp [Humboldt State], Jake Dickert [Minnesota State-Mankato] and Wright) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Wright will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Division II Coordinator of the Year award are Tim Beck (Pittsburg State [Kan.], 2008), Scott Preston (Arkansas Tech, 2009), Ken Collums (Abilene Christian [Texas], 2010), Hunter Hughes (Colorado State-Pueblo, 2011), Paul Tortorella (Indiana [Pa.], 2012) and Josh Kline (Shepherd [W. Va.], 2013).
1st Nationally - Total Defense
2nd Nationally - Rushing Defense
5th Nationally - Scoring Defense
2nd Nationally - Pass Efficiency Defense
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