2012 Special Teams Coordinator 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 Wednesday December 5th. 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 Special Teams Coordinator of the Year award are James Shibest (Ole Miss, 2008), Mike Tolleson (Texas, 2009), Joe Robinson (LSU, 2010) and John Baxter (USC, 2011).
D.J. Durkin - Florida
Durkin joins his colleague Dan Quinn among our coordinator of the year nominees, and Quinn owes a debt of gratitude for Durkin's exceptional punt unit for continuously putting the Florida defense in a position to succeed. With an average of 41.6 yards per punt, the Gators ranked third nationally in net punting. Durkin's unit is exceptional on kickoffs, placing 13th nationally in kickoffs 10th in FBS in kickoff coverage at 17.9 yards per return. The Gators are a solid 20-of-25 on field goals and 30-of-31 on PATs. Florida leads the SEC with four kick blocks this season, including a last second blocked punt that was returned 36 yards for a game-winning touchdown versus Louisiana - Lafayette.
3rd in Net Punting (41.6 YPP)
10th in Kickoff Coverage (17.9 YPR)
13th in Kickoffs (63.5 YPA)
12th in Kicks Blocked (4)
Sean Snyder - Kansas State
Kansas State has ridden college football's most explosive return unit to a 10-1 record and the driver's seat in the Big 12 title race. The Wildcats rank second in the nation with an average of 29.5 yards on 28 returns, putting them within striking distance of the NCAA record 28.7-yard average for a minimum of 35 returns. The Wildcats have two separate players averaging close to 35 yards per return, with four returns of 50 yards or longer, including two touchdowns. An equally dangerous team to punt to, Kansas State leads the nation in punt returns, averaging nearly 23 yards on 15 returns. Over half of KSU's punt returns (six) have gone for more than 30 yards, including one touchdown. Snyder's unit ranks among the FBS's top 10 in field goal kicking at 18-of-21 on the season. At 56-for-56 on the season, Kansas State has the most successful PAT attempts without a miss in college football. The Wildcats have punted 36 times and have surrendered just 15 yards on four punt returns for the entire season, tied for the fifth-fewest total yards in college football.
1st in Punt Returns (22.87 YPR)
2nd in Kickoff Returns (29.5 YPR)
5th in Fewest Punt Return Yards Allowed (15)
5th in Field Goals (18 of 21)
1st in Successful PATs without a miss (56)
Jeff Ulbrich - UCLA
Jeff Ulbrich's Special Teams Coordinator of the Year candidacy begins with UCLA's NCAA-leading ten blocked kicks. The Bruins blocked a ridiculous four kicks in a win over Washington State on Nov. 10. Jim Mora credits a large part of UCLA's 9-2 turnaround to their elite kicking units. On 76 kickoffs this season, UCLA ranks third nationally in kickoff average (64.2 yards per attempt) and with 60 touchbacks, the Bruins lead the country in touchback percentage (78.9 percent). The Bruins also lead the Pac-12 and rank within the nation's top dozen punting units with a 40.5-yard net average. UCLA's 60 punts have been returned for a total of 57 yards.
1st in Blocked Kicks (8)
1st in Touchback % (79%)
11th in Net Punting (41 YPA)
3rd in Kickoffs (64.2 YPA)
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