Nov 20th, 2012 @ 3:28 pm | Author: Football Sports Information
FB: Coach Horner named 2012 NAIA assistant coach of year
The American Football Coaches Association is proud to announce its 2012 Assistant Coach of the Year winners. One assistant coach from the five divisions of college football has been selected for their dedication to their teams and communities.

Each year, staff representatives from NCAA and NAIA football-playing schools are asked to nominate an assistant for consideration. From those nominations, a winner is selected by the AFCA Public Relations Committee. The winners of this award were selected from Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and the NAIA.

The Assistant Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1997 and was created to honor assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement.

The 2012 honorees are as follows:

Football Bowl Subdivision – Kirby Smart, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach, University of Alabama

Football Championship Subdivision–John Revere, Runningbacks Coach, Eastern Kentucky University

Division II–A.J. Blazek, Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line/Tight Ends Coach, Winona State University

Division III–Joe Early, Offensive Coordinator, Middlebury College

NAIA–Gregg Horner, Defensive Coordinator, Valley City State University.

'Once again, five outstanding assistant coaches have been selected for their dedication, not only to their teams, but to their communities,' said Executive Director Grant Teaff. 'Often times, the head coach receives much of the credit for his team's success, but any head coach is only as good as his assistants. Much of an assistant coach's work is done behind the scenes. It is our pleasure to bring it to the forefront.'

The criteria for the award is not limited to on-field coaching ability or the success of the team and players that these assistant coaches work with. Service to the community through charitable work and other volunteer activities, participation in AFCA activities and events, participation in other professional organizations and impact on student-athletes are all taken into account in the selection process.

Winners of the Assistant Coach of the Year Award will receive a plaque to commemorate the award and an educational stipend to attend the 2013 AFCA Convention or another professional development clinic/convention of their choice. They will be honored at the AstroTurf President's Kickoff Luncheon, Monday, January 7 at the 2013 AFCA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year Finalists for 2012

Football Bowl Subdivision
Kirby Smart, Alabama
Trooper Taylor, Auburn
Matt Lubick, Duke

Football Championship Subdivision
John Revere, Eastern Kentucky
Jay Bubak, South Dakota State
Mike Jones, Tennessee State

Division II
Joe Evenson, Augustana (S.D.)
Jay Derby, Ouachita Baptist
A.J. Blazek, Winona State

Division III
Justin Charles, Louisiana College
Joe Early, Middlebury
Rick Ponx, North Central

Jim Hogan, Carroll (Mont.)
Eric Inama, Midland
Gregg Horner, Valley City State

Assistant Coach of the Year Notes
79 assistant coaches from 62 different schools have been honored by the AFCA since the inception of the award in 1997 ... Campbellsville (NAIA) and Hampton (FCS) lead all schools with three winners each ... Campbellsville's three winners came in three straight years (1997-Samuel Wickliffe, 1998-Eric Graves, 1999-Haywood Riner) ... Hampton won its three awards in 1997 (Alonzo Lee), 1998 (John Wright) and 2003 (Donovan Rose) ... Air Force, Benedictine (Kan.), Bethel (Minn.), Carson-Newman, Central (Iowa), Morningside, Mount Union, Northwest Missouri State, Wabash and Winona State have had two winners each ... A total of 36 assistant coaches from five divisions were nominated for the 2012 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year award

NAIA Winner

Gregg Horner, Defensive Coordinator, Valley City State: Horner is in his 23rd year as an assistant coach, with his last 19 at Valley City State ... He organizes a First grade reading volunteer program for student-athletes and coordinates a VCSU athletic department 'Bleed Cardinal' blood drive ... Horner is a member of the VCSU Environmental Task Force and coordinates student-athlete volunteers at a community youth Halloween party, 'Ruckus at the Rec,' annual Earth Week city park cleanup and Salvation Army bell ringers ... He has volunteered his time fighting flood waters by filling sandbags ... Horner is a member of the AFCA NAIA Assistant Coaches Committee ... As VCSU Academic Coordinator, the football team has had a 95 percent graduation rate for student-athletes who have participated in the program for four years ... Horner's defense ranks No. 18 in the nation in total defense, allowing just 298.5 yards per game, and is No. 13 in pass defense, allowing just 159 yards per game ... He has produced 32 All-Dakota Athletic Conference performers and four NAIA All-Americans.