FootballScoop is proud to announce that Randy Hart (Stanford) is the 2012 FootballScoop Defensive Line Coach of the Year presented by ProGrass.
It can be argued that no unit was more dominant in 2012 than Stanford's defensive front. The Stanford defense produced more sacks (4.31 per game) and tackles for loss (9.23 per game) than any team in college football, and also ranked third nationally in rush defense (87.7 yards per game, 2.84 per carry).
This award comes as a culmination for Hart after more than four decades in coaching. Hart graduated from Ohio State in 1970 and got his start as a graduate assistant that fall. He began coaching the defensive line at Iowa in 1973 and spent 20 years as the defensive line coach at Washington, with some defensive coordinator and assistant head coach duties sprinkled in. Hart left Washington in 2009 for Notre Dame, and returned to the Pac-10 one year later to join Jim Harbaugh's staff on the Farm.
Stanford head coach David Shaw added, "Randy is always energetic and gets our defensive line ready to compete everyday. He's done a great job developing depth so that we can rotate players and keep them all fresh." This season, Hart led a defensive line unit that led the Cardinal's charge to the Pac-12 championship and a program-record third consecutive BCS game, this time the Rose Bowl versus Wisconsin.
Stanford has held eight of its 13 opponents under 100 rushing yards this season, punctuated by a three-game stretch where the Cardinal sacked California, Washington State and Colorado a combined 21 times, allowed a net minus-36 yards on 73 carries with 33 tackles for loss mixed in.
Stanford was expected to take a step back as a team in 2012, but got the nation's attention on Sept. 15 with a 21-14 win over then-No. 1 USC where the Cardinal harassed Matt Barkley and the Trojans offense for 60 minutes, notching four sacks, a dozen tackles for loss and allowed just 26 rushing yards on 27 carries.
Stanford again earned the nation's respect on Nov. 17 when they again beat the AP's then-No. 1 team with a 17-14 overtime stunner at Oregon. The Cardinal held Oregon's avalanche of an offense to its season-low scoring total with just 198 rushing yards and 207 passing yards while collecting three sacks and 10 tackles for loss.
Hart's unit produced two Second Team All-Pac-12 honorees in junior defensive end Henry Anderson and senior defensive end Ben Gardner. That duo combined to post 90 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, five quarterback hits, eight pass breakups and eight passes defended. In all, Stanford had five players collect 10 or more tackles for loss and five players notch five or more sacks.
In a league where seemingly every opponent has the ability to put up half a hundred points every week, the Stanford defensive line helped its unit lead the Pac-12 in total defense (338.9 yards per game) and scoring defense (17.5 points per game). The team also ranked 14th nationally in opponent runs of 10-plus yards per game (3.5), 15th in third down defense (65-of-209, 31.1%), 22nd in first downs defense (18.2 per game) and 24th in pass efficiency defense (114.9 opponent passer rating).
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 (Hart, Jim Jeffcoat - San Jose State, Brad Lawing - South Carolina and Calvin Thibodeaux - Tulsa) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Hart will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA 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).
1st Nationally - Sacks
3rd Nationally - Rushing Defense
1st Nationally - Tackles For Loss
14th Nationally - Scoring Defense
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