FootballScoop is proud to announce that Shane Montgomery is the 2019 FootballScoop FCS Coordinator of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.
James Madison dropped its opening game, a 20-13 decision at West Virginia. Since then, the Dukes haven't lost, and Montgomery's offense is a large reason why.
JMU's attack starts with their ground game. The Dukes are powered by a multi-pronged attack that's seen two players near the 900-yard mark and half a dozen go over 200 yards. Junior running back Percy Agyei-Obese leads the effort with 1,143 yards and 19 touchdowns on 241 carries. Junior Jawon Hamilton has a shot at hitting 1,000, compiling 896 yards and five scores on 160 carries.
Elsewhere, quarterback Ben DiNucci has compiled 560 yards and seven scores, freshman Solomon Vanhorse has 382 yards and five scores, and fellow backs Latrele Palmer and Eric Kirlew have 356 and 217 yards, respectively.
That diverse ground game has allowed DiNucci to thrive in the passing game. The fifth-year senior has completed 71.3 percent of his 345 passes for 3,237 yards with 27 touchdowns against five interceptions. Senior Brandon Polk is DiNucci's top target, hauling in 73 grabs for 1,173 yards with 11 touchdowns.
Add it all up and you get an offense that ranks ninth in FCS in total offense (472.5 yards per game), 10th in rushing offense (248.3 yards per game), third in passing efficiency (172.75) and second in scoring offense (41.3 points per game). The Dukes have scored 40 points or more eight times, and 37 or more 11 times. JMU scored 54 points or more four times.
James Madison ranks second in FCS in third down conversions (54.1 percent), first on fourth downs (87.5 percent) and fifth in red zone conversions (92.4 percent). Their 373 total first downs lead FCS.
DiNucci and right tackle Liam Fornadel were named AFCA First Team All-Americans, and DiNucci was named the Colonial Athletic Association's Offensive Player of the Year. DiNucci and Fornadel were joined on the All-CAA First Team by Agyei-Obese and center Mac Patrick.
James Madison will play for its second national championship against North Dakota State on Saturday in Frisco, Texas.
Montgomery, who also coaches JMU's quarterbacks, is in his first season on Curt Cignetti's staff. Montgomery played quarterback at NC State in the late 1980s, and was a Second Team All-ACC honoree in 1989. He spent eight years at Miami (Ohio), where he coached Ben Roethlisberger as offensive coordinator and spent 2005-08 as the RedHawks' head coach. He has previously coordinated offenses at Akron, Charlotte and Youngstown State.
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 (David Braun [North Dakota State], Clayton Carlin [Sam Houston State], Corey Heatherman [James Madison], Austin King [Dayton], Jeremiah Johnson [Northern Iowa] and Montgomery) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Montgomery will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the FCS Coordinator of the Year award are Heishman Northern (Prairie View A&M, 2008), Bob Shoop (William & Mary, 2009), Nick Rapone (Delaware, 2010), Scott Stoker (Sam Houston State, 2011), Chris Klieman (North Dakota State, 2012), Sterlin Gilbert (Eastern Illinois, 2013), Don Bailey (Idaho State, 2014), Lyle Hemphill (Stony Brook, 2015), Phil Longo (Sam Houston State, 2016), Bob Trott (James Madison, 2017) and Matt Entz (North Dakota State, 2018).
2nd Nationally - Scoring Offense
3rd Nationally - Passing Efficiency
1st Nationally - First Downs
2nd Nationally - Third Down Conversions
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