Kelly Headlines 2010 National Coach of the Year Winners

The American Football Coaches Association capped its 2011 convention by presenting its top coaching award — AFCA Coach of the Year — to five outstanding coaches.

Oregon’s Chip Kelly, Delaware’s K.C. Keeler, Minnesota-Duluth’s Bob Nielson, Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Lance Leipold and Carroll’s Mike Van Diest are the 2010 AFCA National Coach of the Year winners. Kelly in FBS, Keeler in FCS, Nielson in Division II, Leipold in Division III and Van Diest in NAIA.

The winners are selected by a vote of the Active AFCA members (coaches at four-year schools) in the Association’s five divisions. The AFCA has named a Coach of the Year since 1935. The AFCA Coach of the Year award is the oldest and most prestigious of all the Coach of the Year awards and is the only one chosen exclusively by the coaches themselves.

Chip Kelly led the Ducks to a 12-1 record, the Pac-10 Conference title and an appearance in the BCS National Championship game. He has a 22-4 overall record in his two years as head coach, with two Pac-10 titles and two Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors. Kelly is the first coach in Oregon history to lead the Ducks to an undefeated regular season and an appearance in a national championship game.

Keeler led the Blue Hens to a 12-3 record, a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title and an appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision national championship in 2010. This was the third FCS national championship game appearance for Delware in Keeler’s nine years as head coach. He owns a 74-42 record at Delaware and an overall record of 162-63-1 at Delaware and Rowan.

Bob Nielson led the Bulldogs to a 15-0 record, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and the school’s second NCAA Division II title in 2010. Since returning as head coach in 2008, Nielson owns a 41-2 record with three straight NSIC titles, two national titles and two seasons with records of 15-0. He has a record of 79-21 in his eight seasons at Minnesota-Duluth, and an overall record of 149-54-1 in 17 seasons as a head coach.

Lance Leipold led Wisconsin-Whitewater to a 15-0 record, its sixth consecutive Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and its third NCAA Division III championship in the last four seasons in 2010. Leipold also earned AFCA Coach of the Year honors in 2007 and 2009 when he led Whitewater to national titles in those seasons. Leipold has a four-year career record of 57-3 at Whitewater. The Warhawks have advanced to the Division III title game in each of Leipold’s first four seasons at the school.

Mike Van Diest led the Fighting Saints to a 14-0 record, an 11th consecutive Frontier Conference title and the NAIA championship this season to earn NAIA National Coach of the Year honors for the third time. The title is the sixth for Van Diest in 12 seasons as head coach. Van Diest has an overall record of 144-20. Van Diest previously earned AFCA National Coach of the Year honors in 2003 and 2007.

AFCA Coach of the Year Bios

Football Bowl Subdivision
Chip Kelly, University of Oregon: First AFCA National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Ducks to a 12-1 record, the Pac-10 Conference title and an appearance in the BCS National Championship game this season ... First coach in Pac-10 history to guide his team to two conference titles in his first two seasons as head coach ... Has a 22-4 overall record in his two seasons at Oregon ... First Oregon coach to lead the Ducks to back-to-back BCS bowl games ... Helped Oregon achieve its first-ever No. 1 ranking in program history.

Football Championship Subdivision
K.C. Keeler, University of Delaware: First AFCA National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Blue Hens to a 12-3 record, a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title and an appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision national championship game this season ... Has guided Delaware to three national title games, winning the national championship in 2003 with a 15-1 record ... Keeler has a nine-year record of 74-42 at Delaware, and a 162-63-1 overall record in his 18 years as a head coach at Delaware and Rowan ... Has guided his teams at Delaware and Rowan to six conference championships ... Keeler led Rowan to seven Division III national semifinal appearances and five national championship game appearances in his nine years as head coach.

Division II
Bob Nielson, University of Minnesota-Duluth: First AFCA National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Bulldogs to a 15-0 record, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title and the NCAA Division II championship this season ... Has a eight-year record of 79-21 at Minnesota-Duluth ... In his first season back as head coach after a four-year layoff, guided the Bulldogs to the 2008 Division II National title with a 15-0 record ... Has a 41-2 record with three straight NSIC titles since returning to coaching ... Led Minnesota-Duluth to one NSIC title in his first five years as head coach ... Has an overall record of 149-54-1 in 17 seasons as a head coach at Minnesota-Duluth, Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Wartburg and Ripon ... Nielson led Wisconsin-Eau Claire to the 1998 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title, and Wartburg to the Iowa Conference crown in 1993.

Division III
Lance Leipold, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater: Third AFCA National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Warhawks to 15-0 record, its sixth consecutive Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and its third NCAA Division III championship in the last four years this season ... Has a four-year career record of 57-3 at Whitewater ... Earned AFCA Coach of the Year honors in 2009 when he led the Warhawks to a 15-0 record, the WIAC title and the program’s second Division III national title ... Earned AFCA Coach of the Year honors in 2007 when he led Whitewater to 14-1 record, the WIAC title and the school’s first NCAA Division III championship ... The Warhawks have advanced to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in each of Leipold’s first four seasons at the school.
Previous National Coach of the Year Honors: Division III, 2007, 2009

NAIA
Mike Van Diest, Carroll College (Mont.): Third AFCA National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Fighting Saints to a 14-0 record, an 11th consecutive Frontier Conference title and the NAIA championship this season ... Has a 12-year career record of 144-20 at Carroll ... The title is the sixth for Van Diest in 12 seasons as head coach ... Earned AFCA National Coach of the Year honors in 2003 when he led the Fighting Saints to a 15-0 record, the Frontier Conference title and the NAIA championship ... Earned AFCA National Coach of the Year honors in 2007 when he led Carroll to a 15-0 record, the Frontier Conference title and the NAIA championship.Previous Regional Coach of the Year Honors: Region 5 NAIA, 2007-08-09-10
Previous National Coach of the Year Honors: NAIA, 2003, 2007

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