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2012 Defensive Line Coaches of the Year


2012 Defensive Line Coach of the Year 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. Finalists were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The winner will be chosen by the previous winners of the award and will be announced on Sunday December 9th.  The 2012 FootballScoop Coaches of the Year will be recognized and will receive their awards at a function at the American Football Coaches Association's annual convention in January. Previous winners of the Defensive Line Coach of the Year award are Dick Bumpas (TCU, 2008), Jim Panagos (Central Florida, 2009), Bill Kirelawich (West Virginia, 2010) and Brick Haley (LSU, 2011).


Randy Hart

Jim Jeffcoat

Brad Lawing

Calvin Thibodeaux


San Jose State

South Carolina


Randy Hart - Stanford

Stanford's defensive front has been so good this season it can be classified as both an immovable object and an irresistible force. First: the immovable object. The Cardinal lead the country in rushing defense, averaging an outstanding 71.3 yards per game and 2.36 yards per carry. You may recall the night they walked into Autzen Stadium, held Oregon to 198 rushing yards and left with a 17-14 overtime win. Or how about this past Saturday when they limited UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin, who entered the game on of FBS's top five rushers, to just 65 yards on 21 carries. Stanford has also held Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey and Oregon's Kenjon Barner, two of the nation's top four rushers, under their season averages. Next: the irresistible force. Hart's unit has created more sacks and tackles for loss than any team in college football. The Cardinal have created 53 sacks and 111 tackles for loss (for a loss of nearly 40 yards per game, also the most in the country) this season. Recall the times they sacked UCLA's Brett Hundley seven times, USC's Matt Barkley four times, Notre Dame's quarterbacks four times and Arizona's Matt Scott three times. All of that harassment of quarterbacks and ball carriers has propelled Stanford to the top of the Pac-12 in total defense (328.8 yards per game) and scoring defense (16.9 points per game).

Key stats

1st in rushing defense (71.3 ypg)

1st in tackles for loss (9.25 pg)

1st in sacks (4.42 per game)

1st in Pac-12 total, scoring defense



Jim Jeffcoat - San Jose State

In his second year on Mike MacIntyre's staff, Jim Jeffcoat's defensive line has been a driving force in the Spartans' jump from 5-7 in 2011 to 10-2 in 2012 with a second-place finish in the WAC and a first-ever appearance in the BCS standings. The Spartans rank 20th nationally and second in the WAC with a rushing defense average of 123.7 yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry. Those numbers represent a drastic improvement from 2011, when San Jose State ranked 106th nationally at 204.3 yards per game and 4.88 yards per carry. A tougher run defense has greatly aided the Spartans' pass defense, as SJSU jumped 48 spots in the national rankings from 2011 to 2012. By far the most drastic improvement Jeffcoat's group has shown is in the number of plays made behind the line of scrimmage. Last season, San Jose State ranked 100th nationally with 1.33 sacks and 4.67 tackles for loss per game. The Spartans defense showed night-and-day improvement this season, ranking fifth nationally with 3.33 sacks per game and 19th nationally with 7.08 sacks per game. Defensive end Travis Johnson leads the way for the Spartans, ranking eighth nationally with 12 sacks and ninth in the country with 19 tackles for loss.

Key stats

5th in sacks (3.33 per game)

20th in rushing defense (123.7 per game)

19th in TFL (7.08 per game)

Johnson ranks 8th in sacks, 9th in TFL



Brad Lawing - South Carolina

Does anything strike fear in the heart of an opposing quarterback quite like seeing Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor bearing down upon him? Clowney, a sophomore, ranks second nationally with 13 sacks, leads the country with 21.5 tackles for loss. Add in Devin Taylor's three sacks and eight TFL, Kelcy Quarles' 2.5 sacks and seven TFL, Chaz Sutton's five sacks and TFL, Aldrick Fordham's 4.5 sacks and 5.5 TFL and Byron Jerideau's 2.5 sacks and 4.5 TFL and you get one of college football's most fearsome defensive lines. As a team, the Gamecocks are tied for fifth nationally and lead the SEC with 3.33 sacks per game, rank 19th nationally with 7.08 TFL per game, place 16th nationally in rushing defense (119 yards per game) and 18th national in passing defense (193.25 yards per game). The Gamecocks' pass rush has been at its best when the stage is brightest, forcing Aaron Murray, the nation's passing efficiency leader, into his worst night of the season in a 35-7 South Carolina win as Murray completed just 11-of-31 passes for 109 yards and no touchdowns with one interception and two sacks. Clemson's Tajh Boyd, the top passer in the ACC and one of the most productive players in college football, connected on just 11-of-24 attempts for 183 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and six sacks. In a loss to Florida, the South Carolina front allowed Florida to run for a season-worst 1.85 yards per carry (89 yards on 48 carries).

Key stats

Clowney ranks 2nd in sacks, 1st in TFL

19th in TFL (7.08 per game)

5th in sacks (3.33 per game)

Top 20 in total, rushing, pass and scoring defense



Calvin Thibodeaux - Tulsa

Playing in a pass happy Conference USA, Calvin Thibodeaux' unit stands head and shoulder as the best defensive front in the league. As the Golden Hurricane prepares to host Central Florida for the Conference USA championship, Tulsa will throw the nation's third best pass rush at the Knights. Tulsa ranks third nationally in sacks (3.75 per game) and tackles for loss (8.17 per game). The Golden Hurricane also stands above C-USA in rushing defense, averaging a league-best 120 yards per game and 3.16 yards per carry. Tulsa averages a conference-best 355.9 yards in total defense, aided by a defensive front that creates more than 37 lost yards per game (10 yards more than anyone else in the conference) through those eight tackles for loss per game. Senior Jared St. John spearheads the Tulsa pass rush with 9.5 sacks, the second best in Conference USA. All told, three Golden Hurricane players rank among the nation's top 75 sack producers.

Key stats

3rd in sacks (3.75 per game)

1st in CUSA in run defense (120 ypg)

3rd in TFL (8.17 per game)

3 players among nation's top 75 in sacks



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