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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Dec. 4, 2006

Coach Tjeerdsma Named AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year

Release courtesy of Todd Bell, Director of Media Relations at AFCA

WACO, Texas - Larry Kehres' record-tying 11th award and Jim Grobe's first honor highlights today's announcement of the American Football Coaches Association's 2006 Regional Coach of the Year winners.

"What makes this award so special is that this is the only coach of the year award voted on exclusively by the coaches themselves," AFCA Executive Director Grant Teaff said. "The winners are selected by the coaches they compete with and against on a daily basis."

The AFCA recognizes five regional Coach of the Year winners in each of the Association's five divisions: I-A, I-AA, Division II, Division III and NAIA. The winners are selected by Active members of the Association who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions.

The Winners: Wake Forest's Jim Grobe has earned Division I-A Region 1 honors for the first time this year. Grobe led the Demon Deacons to an 11-2 record, the Atlantic Coast Conference title and a berth in the Orange Bowl.

Mount Union's Larry Kehres is the Division III Region 4 winner this year, the 11th time Kehres has been so honored, tying Penn State's Joe Paterno for the most District/Regional Coach of the Year Awards.

Bloomsburg's Danny Hale earned his ninth Regional Coach of the Year award in Division II Region I this year, the third-highest total in the history of the award.

Joining Grobe as winners in Division I-A are Arkansas' Houston Nutt (Region 2), Michigan's Lloyd Carr (Region 3), Boise State's Chris Petersen (Region 4) and BYU's Bronco Mendenhall (Region 5).

In Division I-AA, the winners are Massachusetts' Don Brown (Region 1); Appalachian State's Jerry Moore (Region 2); Tennessee-Martin's Jason Simpson (Region 3); Youngstown State's Jon Heacock (Region 4) and Montana's Bobby Hauck (Region 5).

Joining Hale as winners in Division II are North Alabama's Mark Hudspeth (Region 2); Northwest Missouri State's Mel Tjeerdsma (Region 3), Abilene Christian's Chris Thomsen (Region 4) and Chadron State's Bill O'Boyle (Region 5).

Joining Kehres in Division III, are Springfield's Mike DeLong (Region 1); Wilkes' Frank Sheptock (Region 2); Washington & Lee's Frank Miriello (Region 3) and Wisconsin-Whitewater's Bob Berezowitz (Region 5).

For the first time in 2006, the AFCA is selecting Regional winners in the NAIA. The inaugural recipients are Bethel's (Tenn.) Dino Kaklis (Region 1); St. Ambrose's Todd Sturdy (Region 2); Missouri Valley's Paul Troth (Region 3); Sioux Falls' Kalen DeBoer (Region 4) and Montana State-Northern's Mark Samson (Region 5).

The 2006 Regional Coach of the Year winners will be recognized at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner at the 2007 AFCA Convention in San Antonio. The dinner is scheduled for January 10.

Award History

The AFCA began recognizing district coaches of the year following the 1960 season. The awards were established the same year Eastman Kodak agreed to sponsor the AFCA Coach of the Year award. Prior to 1960, the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain had sponsored the program, which recognized one national Coach of the Year.

The AFCA first recognized eight district winners in each of two divisions: university and college. In 1972, a ninth district was added in each division.

In 1983, the award was changed to recognize regional winners instead of district winners. The number of divisions was increased from two to the four we now have, and five regional winners were selected in each division. This resulted in a more equitable selection process and better represented the make-up of the membership. At the same time, the new system increased the number of honorees from 18 to 20.

In 2006 the AFCA Division II Award was split into separate Division II and NAIA divisions, giving us the 25 winners we now recognize.

AFCA National Coach of the Year Winners to Earn Rewards for Their Assistants

The full-time assistants at the five schools represented by the AFCA National Coach of the Year winners will each receive a $1,000 grant from the American Football Coaches Foundation to assist in the education or professional development of each assistant.

AFCA National Coach of the Year: The AFCA will announce its five 2006 National Coach of the Year winners at the 2007 AFCA Convention in San Antonio. All head coaches who were eligible for regional honors are eligible for national honors as well.

Repeat Winners: Appalachian State's Jerry Moore, Youngstown State's Jon Heacock, Bloomsburg's Danny Hale and Wisconsin-Whiewater's Bob Berezowitz are the only repeat winners from 2005.

Multiple Winners: Other multiple winners in the 2006 class are Houston Nutt (fourth), Massachusetts' Don Brown (third), North Alabama's Mark Hudspeth (second), Northwest Missouri State's Mel Tjeerdsma (sixth), Springfielid's Mike DeLong (fourth) and Mount Union's Larry Kehres (11th).

First Time Schools: Six coaches earned the first AFCA Regional Coach of the Year Award for their school in 2006: Tennessee-Martin's Jason Simpson, Chadron State's Bill O'Boyle, Washington & Lee's Frank Miriello, Bethel's (Tenn) Dino Kaklis, St. Ambrose's Todd Sturdy, Missouri Valley's Paul Troth and Montana State-Northern's Mark Samson.

Most Awards: Penn State's Joe Paterno (District 2: 1967-68-71-72-73-77-78-82; Region 1: 1985; Region 3: 1994-2005) and Mount Union's Larry Kehres (1986-90-92-93-96-97-99-2000-01-02-06) are the only 11-time district/regional winner in AFCA history. Following Paterno and Kehres is Bloomsburg's Danny Hale, who won his ninth award this year (College Division I, Region 1 1986-87-88-94-95; Division II, Region 1, 2000-01-05-06). Hale won his first three awards while at West Chester. Six coaches have won the award seven times: Jim Butterfield, Ithaca; Carmen Cozza, Yale; Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne, Nebraska; Tubby Raymond, Delaware and Bo Schembechler, Miami (Ohio), Michigan.

Winners by School: Nebraska-15 (Bob Devaney-7, Tom Osborne-7, Frank Solich-1); Penn State-12 (Rip Engle-1, Joe Paterno-11); Mount Union-12 (Ken Wable-1, Larry Kehres-11); North Dakota State-10 (Darrell Mudra-1, Ron Erhardt-4, Jim Wacker-1, Don Morton-3, Earle Solomonson-1); Southern California-10 (John McKay-6, John Robinson-2, Pete Carroll-2); Texas-10 (Darrell Royal-6, Fred Akers-2, David McWilliams-1, Mack Brown-1); Wittenberg-9 (Bill Edwards-3, Dave Maurer-4, Ron Murphy-1, Joe Fincham-1); Michigan-8 (Bump Elliott-2, Bo Schembechler-6); Alabama-8 (Bear Bryant-4, Bill Curry-1, Gene Stallings-2, Mike Shula-1), Oklahoma-8 (Chuck Fairbanks-3, Barry Switzer-2, Bob Stoops-3); Yale-8 (Jordan Olivar-1, Carmen Cozza-7).

Most Schools: South Carolina's Lou Holtz is the only coach to earn AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors at four different schools. Holtz has earned the honor at North Carolina State (1972), Arkansas (1979), Notre Dame (1988) and South Carolina (2000). Mike Price (UTEP, Washington State, Weber State) became the fifth coach to win district or regional honors at three different schools in 2004. He joins Jerry Claiborne (Virginia Tech, Maryland, Kentucky), Darrell Mudra (North Dakota State, Western Illinois, Northern Iowa), Jim Sweeney (Montana State, Washington State and Fresno State) and Jim Wacker (North Dakota State, Southwest Texas State and TCU) on that list.

Consecutive Years: Northwest Missouri State's Mel Tjeerdsma and Nebraska's Bob Devaney are the only coaches to win district/regional honors in five consecutive years. Tjeerdsma earned the honor in Division II from 1996-2000. Devaney earned the honor in the AFCA's old University Division (1962-63-64-65-66). Trinity (Texas)'s Steve Mohr, North Dakota State's Ron Erhardt and Mount Union's Larry Kehres are the only men to win the award four years in a row. Erhardt earned district honors in the AFCA's old College Division (1967-68-69-70) while Mohr earned the honor in Division III (1996-97-98-99). Kehres earned the honor in 1999-2000-01-02. Thirteen coaches have earned district or regional honors three years in a row. One of the 13, former Ithaca College coach Jim Butterfield, earned the award in three consecutive years on two different occasions (1978-79-80 and 1984-85-86).

Two Years, Two Schools: Five coaches have earned AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors at two schools in consecutive years:

Fred Akers: Wyoming, 1976 & Texas 1977; Dick Sheridan: Furman, 1985 & North Carolina State, 1986; Dennis Franchione: Pittsburg State, 1989 & Southwest Texas State, 1990; Joe Tiller: Wyoming, 1996 & Purdue, 1997; Hal Mumme: Valdosta State, 1996 & Kentucky, 1997

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468