FootballScoop is proud to announce that Paul Tortorella (Indiana, PA) is the 2012 FootballScoop Division II Coordinator of the Year presented by ProGrass.
In jumping from a 7-3 season in 2011 to a 12-2 mark with an appearance in the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals, Indiana (Pa.) used a relentless defense led by Paul Tortorella that suffocated opponents from the opening kickoff to the final whistle.
Tortorella got his start in coaching in 1985, serving as the linebackers coach at Mount Lebanon High School in Pennsylvania. A year later he moved to Maryland to work as a graduate assistant in 1986-87. After a season spent as a volunteer secondary coach, he was hired full time in 1989 as the Terps' special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. In 1992, Tortorella departed for Akron as the defenisve backs coach before arriving at Indiana (Pa.) in 1994, where he has been the defensive coordinator for 18 seasons.
In nearly 20 years of coordinating the Crimson Hawks' defense, this year's unit may have been his best yet. After all, it's hard to top a unit that led Divison II in total defense (257.9 yards per game, 4.31 yards per play) and scoring defense (12.5 points per game).
Indiana pitched three shutouts this fall and held seven of its 14 opponents to 10 points or fewer.
In addition to leaving Division II in total defense and scoring defense, Tortorella's unit also ranked third nationally in rushing defense (80.1 yards per game, 2.55 yards per carry) and placed 14th in pass efficiency defense (47.9 completion percentage with 14 TDs and 20 INTs).
Head coach Curt Cignetti added, "Paul has done a great job coordinating our defense and has contributed signicantly to the growth and development of our program over the last two years."
As a team, Indiana placed second in Division II in turnover margin, producing 1.5 more takeaways than turnovers per game. That statistic was aided by a defense that ranked inside the top 15 in the country in both passes intercepted (20) and fumbles recovered (15).
The Crimson Hawks' defense was the toughest to move the ball against in Division II, leading the nation with just 14.4 first downs allowed per game.
Tortorella's defense also ranked near the top 30 nationally in red zone defense, with17 touchdowns and four field goals allowed in 31 trips, and third downs defense (64-for-189, 33.9 percent).
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. The finalists (Tortorella, Robert Henry - West Alabama and Chris Symington - Colorado State - Pueblo) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winners.
Tortorella will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Division II of the Year award are Tim Beck (Pittsburg State, 2008), Scott Preston (Arkansas Tech, 2009), Ken Collums (Abilene Christian, 2010) and Hunter Hughes (Colorado State - Pueblo, 2011).
1st Nationally - Total Defense
1st Nationally - First Downs Defense
1st Nationally - Scoring Defense
3rd Nationally - Rushing Defense
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