2013 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year Winners Announced

The American Football Coaches Association is proud to announce its 2013 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 2013 honorees are as follows:
Football Bowl Subdivision – Chad Morris, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach, Clemson University
Football Championship Subdivision – John Banaszak, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line/Special Teams, Robert Morris University
Division II – Denares Waites, Safeties Coach/Special Teams, Carson-Newman University
Division III – Michael Schmidt, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach, University of Dubuque
NAIA – Jim Hogan, Offensive Line/Strength Coach, Carroll College

“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. They will be honored at the President’s Kickoff Luncheon, Monday, January 13 at the 2014 AFCA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year Finalists for 2013

Football Bowl Subdivision
Bobby Williams, Alabama
Chad Morris, Clemson
Josh Heupel, Oklahoma   

Football Championship Subdivision
Nick Calcutta, Delaware State
Chuck Hepola, Nicholls State
John Banaszak, Robert Morris

Division II
Denares Waites, Carson-Newman
Alvin Parker, Elizabeth City State
Mike Barela, Northeastern State

Division III
Louis Stokes, Bluffton
Michael Schmidt, Dubuque
Ahmaad Smith, Hampden-Sydney

NAIA
Jim Hogan, Carroll (Mont.)
Matt McCarty, Northwestern (Iowa)
Josh Homolka, Ottawa

Assistant Coach of the Year Notes
84 assistant coaches from 65 different schools have been honored by the AFCA since the inception of the award in 1997 ... Campbellsville (NAIA),  Carson-Newman (Div. II) 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) ...  Carson-Newman won its three awards in 2003 (Mike Turner), 2009 (David Needs) and 2013 (Denares Waites) ... Hampton won its three awards in 1997 (Alonzo Lee), 1998 (John Wright) and 2003 (Donovan Rose) ... Air Force, Benedictine (Kan.), Bethel (Minn.), Carroll (Mont.), Central (Iowa), Morningside, Mount Union, Northwest Missouri State, Wabash  and Winona State have had two winners each ... A total of 42 assistant coaches from five divisions were nominated in 2013.

The Winners
Football Bowl Subdivision
Chad Morris, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, Clemson: Morris has been coaching football for 20 years, with the last three seasons at Clemson … In his three years at Clemson, the program has won at least 10 games each year, the first time Clemson has had a three year streak of double digit wins since the 1987-90 era when Clemson had four straight 10-2 seasons ... Sixteen of his 20 years were spent as a head coach on the high school level, where he compiled a 169-38 record … Morris participates in Relay for Life, which is held on the Clemson campus on an annual basis … He is also involved in the Clemson chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, where he speaks at events and serves as a mentor to high school coaches … Morris helps with Tiger Youth Day, which is a free annual event that allows first- through sixth-grade students a chance to experience Clemson football … In 2013, Clemson is ranked No. 10 in total offense (515.6 ypg), No. 7 in pass efficiency (165.24), and No. 8 in passing offence (338.8 ypg) … Under Morris’ direction, Clemson’s offense set 101 school records on an individual or team basis in 2012, most significantly being most points (533), most total offense (6,665), most plays (1,062) and most passing yards (4,181).

Football Championship Subdivision
John Banaszak, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line/Special Teams, Robert Morris: Banaszak has spent the last 11 years at Robert Morris … Banaszak will take over for current head coach Joe Walton at the conclusion of the 2013 season … Banaszak currently volunteers for several organizations, including Holy Family, NFL alumni, the Children’s Hospital and local veteran groups … During Banaszak’s 11 years at Robert Morris, the Colonials have led the Northeast Conference in total defense four times (2004, 2006, 2009 and 2010) and have finished in the top four in the league on nine occasions … Eight of the 11 players in Robert Morris school history to earn All-NEC recognition on the defensive line have come from under the tutelage of Banaszak … Three of those eight honorees also earned All-America accolades … Banaszak has also helped Colonials to nine all-league awards on special teams in the past 10 years … Prior to Robert Morris, Banaszak served as head coach for Washington & Jefferson, leading the Presidents to a record of 38-9 in his four seasons … Banaszak was named the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Coach of the Year each of those four years he was head coach.

Division II
Denares Waites, Safeties/Special Teams Coach, Carson-Newman: Waites has spent his four years of coaching at Carson-Newman, where, as a player, he was a stand-out safety for three seasons … Waites is very involved in the local community, from organizing student-athletes to pass out Thanksgiving dinners to needy families and organizing Christmas boxes for local kids, to leading a small group at his church in Jefferson City … Waites has been leading a Bible study for the players of Carson-Newman every Monday night since 2007 … In 2010, Waites participated in NCAA’s Future Coaches Acadmey program … Under Waites’ tutelage in 2012, safety Issac Kinley earned all-South Atlantic Conference honors ... Also in 2012, Waites’ punt coverage teams only allowed four yards a return.

Division III
Michael Schmidt, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach, Dubuque: Schmidt has spent six years as an assistant coach, with the last five seasons being defensive coordinator at Dubuque … Schmidt serves as a board member of the Eastern Iowa Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and has staffed over 20 football players into the In-School Mentorship Program that meets weekly with at-risk students in the schools … Schmidt is a member of the Wendt Character Initiative Advisory Board, which is a program designed to promote, monitor, teach and measure character on campus ... He helps organize and structure the initiative to teach the virtues of honesty, fairness, truthfulness and the Golden Rule into our classrooms … Through the Bi-Annual Campus Coat and Shoe Drive, Schmidt organizes, collects and helps distributes lightly used coats and shoes to people in need in the Dubuque community … Schmidt is enrolled as a full-time seminary student, which allows many different service activities and mission trips throughout the Midwest, including Urban Ministry, Native American Ministry and Youth Ministry … He continues to serve the AFCA as a member of the Convention Services Committee.

NAIA
Jim Hogan, Offensive Line/Strength Coach, Carroll: Hogan is in his 15th season as an assistant coach at Carroll College … Before Carroll, Hogan was the head coach for football, wrestling and track at Billings Central High School (Mont.) for eight years, with other stops along his career at Gillette, Wyoming, and as an assistant for Western Montana College … Hogan volunteers for several organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers-Big Sisters ... Jim is also active in his church community … In 2013, the Saints offense ranks No. 8 in rushing offense (250.1 ypg), No. 11 in scoring offense (36.5 pts) and No. 17 in total offense (435.3 ypg) … When Hogan came to Carroll in 1999, he built the strength program into what it is today …  Hogan has coached five All-American offensive linemen and numerous All-Conference players … He has coached two Rimington Award winners … During his time at Carroll, Hogan has been a part of 13 conference championships, eight national appearances in title games and six NAIA National Championships.

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