FootballScoop is proud to announce that Tim DeRuyter and Peter Sirmon are the 2019 FootballScoop Linebackers Coaches of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.
Very few linebackers have enjoyed seasons like Cal's Evan Weaver did in 2019. The senior from Spokane, Wash., collected 189 tackles in 13 games, a number that set a school record, placed him nearly 30 stops ahead of the next-closest tackler and stands as the most tackles by any player since Luke Kuechly's 191 in 2011.
Weaver collected at least nine tackles in 12 of Cal's 13 games. He topped the 20-tackle mark in three games and registered 18 in another. He also posted 10 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, forced three fumbles, registered five quarterback hits and broke up three passes.
But Weaver was not the only terror in Cal's linebacking corps.
Junior linebacker Kuony Deng also topped the 100-tackle mark, recording 61 solos and 58 assists for a total of 119 stops, making Cal the only team in college football to boast two linebackers with at least 115 stops.
Additionally, junior Cameron Goode posted 57 tackles and led the club with 14 stops behind the line of scrimmage and 9.5 sacks.
As a unit, Cal ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in total defense, fourth in yards per play, scoring, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense. The Golden Bears posted an 8-5 record and won the Redbox Bowl, marking just the second time since 2008 that the program has checked both boxes.
Weaver was named a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the top linebacker in college football. He won the Pac-12's Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year award, while Deng and Goode earned honorable mention from the conference.
An Air Force graduate, DeRuyter began coaching as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1985. Also Cal's defensive coordinator in addition to the Bears' outside linebackers coach, DeRuyter previously coordinated defenses for Ohio, Navy, Air Force, and Texas A&M. He spent 2012-16 as the head coach at Fresno State, and has been on Justin Wilcox's staff in Berkeley since 2017.
Sirmon has spent the past two seasons as Cal's associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator, inside linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator. The Oregon graduate began coaching as the linebackers coach at Central Washington in 2008, then returned to his alma mater as a graduate assistant a year later. He has coached linebackers for Tennessee, Washington and USC and coordinated defenses for Mississippi State and Louisville.
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 (Joseph Gillespie [Tulsa], Dan Lanning [Georgia], Oliver Soukup [New Mexico State], Glenn Spencer [Florida Atlantic], Scott White [San Jose State] and DeRuyter and Sirmon) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
DeRuyter and Sirmon will receive their award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Linebackers Coach of the Year award are Bill McGovern (Boston College, 2008), Bob Fraser (Rutgers, 2009), Luke Fickell (Ohio State, 2010), Dave Huxtable (Wisconsin, 2011), Bob Gregory (Boise State, 2012), Jim Reid and LeVar Woods (Iowa, 2013), Jeff Casteel (Arizona, 2014), Dave Aranda and Tim Tibesear (Wisconsin, 2015), Mike Siravo (Temple, 2016), Tyson Veidt (Iowa State, 2017) and Dave Aranda (LSU, 2018).
4th in Conference - Yards Per Play
Two LBs with 115+ Tackles
4th in Conference - Scoring
Butkus Award winning LB
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