2010 Running Backs Coach of the Year

The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by SpeedTracs are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football.  Finalists were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. A panel of coaches including previous recipients will determine the the 2010 winners. Votes tallied on this page are considered; however a panel of coaches make the final decision.  Voting for this award ends on Friday December 10th.

Previous winners of the Running Backs Coach of the Year award are Burton Burns (Alabama, 2008) and Willie Taggart (Stanford, 2009).

Jay Graham
Jim Mastro
Rob Reeves
John Settle
South Carolina Nevada Northern Illinois Wisconsin

Jay Graham – University of South Carolina

Give credit to running backs coach Jay Graham for the development of true freshman Marcus Lattimore. Highly touted running backs often do not live up to the hype, especially early in their careers, but Lattimore exceeded all expectations. The outstanding play from Lattimore and fullback Patrick DiMarco made things much easier for quarterback Stephen Garcia. Remarkably, as a true freshman, Lattimore did not lose a single fumble this season. In fact, the South Carolina running backs lost just 1 fumble the entire season. Coach Graham has to be proud of his backs. They were a huge reason the Gamecocks clinched their first SEC East championship in school history.

Key stats
9-3 overall record, SEC East champs
12th in Rushing Offense (247 YPG)
Lattimore averaged 101 YPG
10th in Third Down Conversions (50.7%)
27th in Scoring Offense Wins over UGA, Bama, Florida, Tenn., Clemson
Only 1 fumble all season by a RB

Jim Mastro – University of Nevada

No other coach in the country knows how to coach running backs better in “The Pistol” than Nevada’s Jim Mastro. To no surprise, the Wolf Pack averaged over 300 yards per game on the ground. Hard running Vai Taua averaged 124 yards per game, while helping Nevada score 47 points per game. The Wolf Pack had 102 rushing plays for 10+ yards (4th nationally). One coach in the profession that nominated Mastro for this award wrote, “Jim Mastro. His backs have total understanding of the scheme and they finish plays on a different level than most backs I’ve coached against this year. I’ve shown my players film of Nevada’s running backs.”

Key stats
11-1 overall record
4th in Rushing Offense (301 YPG)
6th in Scoring Offense (47 PPG)
10th in Fewest Sacks Allowed (0.83 / game)
102 rushing plays for 10+ yards

Rob Reeves – Northern Illinois University

If Northern Illinois running backs coach Rob Reeves wanted his backs to create explosive plays and finish runs, then check out this stat. Northern Illinois has 68 runs for 30+ yards this season, the most in the country. Only two other teams had more than 40 rushes for over 30 yards (Nebraska 53, Oregon 46). Running back Chad Spann was named MAC Offensive Player of the Year and is tied for the most touchdowns in the country with 20 TD’s. Remarkably, the Huskies’ running backs lost just one fumble the entire season.  Coach Reeves is in his third year on the staff at Northern Illinois. He previously served on Jerry Kill’s staff at Southern Illinois.

Key stats
10-2 overall record, MAC Champs
Coached the MAC Off. PoY (Chad Spann)
7th in Rushing Offense (279 YPG)
10th in Fewest Sacks Allowed (0.83 / game)
11th in Scoring Offense (39 PPG)
17 in Total Offense (452 YPG)
Only 1 fumble all season by a RB

John Settle – University of Wisconsin

John Settle coached a group of running backs that lost just one fumble all season. In fact, the Wisconsin running backs fumbled just one time all season, period. The trio of John Clay, James White, and Montee Ball helped the Badgers rush for 247 yards per game, 12th best in the country. Wisconsin finished 4th nationally in scoring offense with 43 points per game. What about pass protection? Settle’s backs helped allow just one sack per game. In his fifth season as the running back coach at Wisconsin, Settle helped lead Wisconsin to an 11-1 overall record.

Key stats
11-1 overall record, Big Ten Champs
4th in Scoring Offense (43 PPG)
12th in Rushing Offense (247 YPG)
15th in Fewest Sacks Allowed (1 / game)
Only 1 fumble all season by a RB

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