FootballScoop is proud to announce that Robby Discher (Oklahoma State) is the 2014 Special Teams Coordinator of the Year presented by ProGrass.
Robby Discher passed up a full-time position at another university to take a graduate assistant position at Oklahoma State and devote himself fully to the Cowboys' special teams. Discher becomes the first graduate assistant to take home a Coach of the Year award in the seven-year history of the FootballScoop awards program.
It's not an exaggeration to say Discher's special teams quite literally saved Oklahoma State's season.
The Pokes took three kicks back for touchdowns this season, including the most important touchdown of the entire season - a 92-yard punt return score in the final minute of regulation against Oklahoma, turning what would have likely been a 35-28 loss into a 38-35 overtime win. That victory served as Oklahoma State's sixth victory of the season, meaning the clutch return stood as the difference between a bowl game and an early winter.
Discher also had a drastic effect on Oklahoma State's field goal kicking unit. A group that was a liability a year ago (11 of 18, good for 61.1 percent and 105th nationally) turned into an asset as kicker Ben Grogan knocked in 19-of-24 tries, which tied for 33rd in FBS.
Oklahoma State also ranked 10th in opponent punt returns at 3.29 yards per return and improved 58 spots nationally in punting. And all this came after head coach Mike Gundy decided not to use starters on special teams, meaning Discher's coverage units were composed largely of freshmen and other first-year players.
On top of that, the Cowboys tied for the national with six kicks or punts blocked.
"Robby has been given a large amount of responsibility from the first day he arrived here, and done nothing but impress us since then. His units are largely comprised of freshmen, redshirt freshmen and other first-year players, and he has done an outstanding job getting them to play at a high level," said Gundy. "He has an outstanding future ahead of him."
Prior to his arrival in Stillwater, Discher spent four seasons as the special teams coordinator at Sam Houston State. A William Jewel College graduate, Discher broke into coaching as an assistant at Kearney (Mo.) High School.
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 (Sean Snyder [Kansas State], Daric Riley [UAB] and Discher) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Discher will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Special Teams Coordinator of the Year award are James Shibest (Ole Miss, 2008), Mike Tolleson (Texas, 2009), Joe Robinson (LSU, 2010), John Baxter (USC, 2011), D.J. Durkin (Florida, 2012) and Jeff Ulbrich (UCLA, 2013).
1st Nationally - Punts/Kicks Blocked
3 punts/kicks returned for touchdowns
10th Nationally - Opponent Punt Returns
72 spot improvement - FG kicking
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