Winters and McElroy Named to AFCA Board of Trustees
NASHVILLE, TENN. — Wayne State University (Mich.) head coach Paul Winters and Saddleback College (Calif.) head coach Mark McElroy have been elected to the Board of Trustees of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). Winters and McElroy were elected by members attending the 2017 AFCA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Winters will be a Division II representative and McElroy will be the ex officio Junior College representative.
Winters and McElroy join a group of distinguished head coaches who guide the organization. The Board formulates policy and provides direction for the AFCA, which was founded in 1922 by Amos Alonzo Stagg, John Heisman and others. The AFCA has more than 11,000 members from all levels of the profession. According to its constitution, the AFCA was formed, in part, to “maintain the highest possible standards in football and in the coaching profession” and to “provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football.”
Returning members of the AFCA Board of Trustees include incoming president Rich Rodriguez of the University of Arizona; first vice-president Bill Cronin of Georgetown College (Ky.); second vice-president Frank Solich of Ohio University and third vice-president Mike Riley of the University of Nebraska.
Also serving on the Board in 2017: Gary Patterson, TCU; David Bailiff, Rice University; Pete Fredenburg, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor; Turner Gill, Liberty University; Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern University; Craig Bohl, University of Wyoming; Bronco Mendenhall, University of Virginia; Todd Knight, Ouachita Baptist University; David Cutcliffe, Duke University; Jeff McMartin, Central College (Iowa); Ken Niamatalolo, U.S. Naval Academy; Bret Bielema, University of Arkansas; Dan Mullen, Mississippi State University; Blake Anderson, Arkansas State University; Danny Rocco, University of Delaware; Bobby Kennedy, University of Iowa, ex officio member and chairman of the Assistant Coaches Committee; Van Malone, Southern Methodist University, ex officio member and chairman of the Minority Issues Committee; and Sam Knopik, The Pembroke Hill School (Mo.), ex officio member and chairman of the High School Committee. AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry serves as secretary-treasurer of the organization.
Winters has spent his entire head-coaching career at Wayne State, earning a 76-69 overall record. Winters holds the school’s all-time football wins record. With his 13 seasons, Winters is the second-longest tenured coach at Wayne State; the 2017 season will tie him with Joseph Gembis’ as longest-tenured. Winters’ 2008 squad finished the season 8-3 and became the first in school history to be ranked in the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. Wayne State’s success that year earned him his second Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Coach of the Year honor. In 2010, he guided the Warriors to a 9-2 record and finished as the GLIAC South Division champion, earning him AFCA Division II Regional Coach of the Year honors. Winters had his best season in 2011, ending the year at 12-4 with an appearance in the Division II national championship, while also becoming the first NCAA Division II school to play 16 games in a season. That year ended on a high note for Winters as he was named the AFCA Division II National Coach of the Year. Prior to his time at Wayne State, Winters spent 10 years at the University of Akron as a graduate assistant and assistant coach, followed by a four-year stint as an assistant at the University of Wisconsin. He then returned as Akron’s offensive coordinator for eight years.
McElroy recently completed his 18th season as the head coach at Saddleback College and led the Gauchos to a 9-2 overall record, the Southern League title and an appearance in the Southern California Bowl. He has an overall record of 135-65 and has led Saddleback to four conference titles. The Gauchos have also advanced to post-season play for a Southern California Football Association (SCFA) record 13 straight seasons (2001-13), and 15 out of the last 16 years. McElroy has been named California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Regional Coach of the Year three times (2004, 2006, 2015) and conference Coach of the Year four times. In 2015, Saddleback’s 10-2 regular season helped them capture another Southern League title. They also won the SCFA championship, which earned the Gauchos their spot in the CCCAA State Championship game. These accomplishments helped McElroy earn the 2015 American Community College Football Coaches Association (ACCFCA) Coach of the Year award. In 2004, McElroy guided Saddleback to an 11-2 record and the SoCal Regional Finals, then followed that up with a SoCal Regional semifinal appearance and an 11-1 record in 2006. McElroy began his coaching career in 1983 as an assistant at San Clemente (Calif.) High School, followed by a JV head-coaching stint at BYU, then head-coaching stops at Whitworth College, Capistrano Valley (Calif.) High School and a brief return to San Clemente High School.