2011 Special Teams Coordinator 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 2011 winner. Votes tallied on this page are considered; however our panel will make the final decision. Voting for this award ends on Friday December 2nd. Previous winners of the Special Teams Coordinator of the Year award are James Shibest (Ole Miss, 2008), Mike Tolleson (Texas, 2009) and Joe Robinson (LSU, 2010).
John L. Smith
John Baxter - USC
If you've seen USC play this season, chances are you walked away from that game impressed with the Trojans' approach to special teams. Coach Baxter puts his guys in position to make plays. They have blocked 7 kicks / punts this season (remember Utah trying to tie the game, only to see USC block it, scoop and score as time expired). Further, despite having to replace his kicker, punter, holder and punt returner from last season, the Trojans have improved in nearly every category. Lane Kiffin: "John Baxter is the best special teams coach in the country."
2nd in Kicks / Punts Blocked (7)
2nd in Field Goals (88%)
Allowed Zero Blocks
16th in Opponent Field Goal % (57%)
Thomas McGaughey - LSU
LSU is undefeated and ranked #1 in the country despite their offense which is ranked #75 in total offense. Coach Miles proudly says that their defense and special teams are leading the way. Redshirt freshman punter Brad Wing has been a difference maker this season, dropping darts inside the 10 frequently and booming long ones when he has the room (30% of his punts have gone 50+). In their biggest game, at Alabama, Wing dropped 4 inside the 20 and he had the monster 73 yarder to back Alabama up late. In 11 games, LSU has allowed a total of 6 punt return yards. When they need 3 points, LSU has been equally good, converting 88% of their attempts. Oh, and is anyone excited about kicking or punting to Mo Claiborne of the honey badger?
4th in Field Goal % (88%)
4th in Opponent Punt Return Yards (0.46 / return)
6th in Net Punting (43 Avg.)
Allowed Zero Blocks
John L. Smith - Arkansas
Watching Joe Adams return a punt is just fun. He's averaging over 16 yards per return and has taken 3 to the house. The Razorbacks also return kickoffs pretty well (#16 in the nation and have taken 2 of those the distance). When they are doing the kicking, it's much of the same. Arkansas is #2 in touchbacks and #10 in punting. That's how special teams can help you win ballgames.
1st in Return Touchdowns (5)
2nd in Touchbacks (34)
16th in Kickoff Returns and Punt Returns
26th in Net Punting (38 Avg.)
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