Dec. 10, 2013
University of Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill was one of five Football Bowl Subdivision coaches to be named a 2013 Regional Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association today. Kill, who was honored as the Region 3 Coach of the Year, was recognized by the AFCA for the third time, as he was also named a Regional Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2004 while at Southern Illinois.
The AFCA recognizes five regional Coach of the Year winners in each of the Association's five divisions: Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, 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 2013 Regional Coach of the Year winners will be recognized at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner at the 2014 AFCA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. The AFCA will also announce its five 2013 National Coach of the Year winners in Indianapolis as well. All head coaches who were eligible for regional honors are eligible for national honors as well. The dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, January 14.
Minnesota finished the regular season with an 8-4 record (4-4 Big Ten) as the Gophers qualified for a bowl game for the second straight year. The Gophers, who were 3-9 two years ago and finished 6-7 last year, have turned into one of the best stories in college football. Minnesota was widely picked to finish last in its division in Big Ten play, but began the season 4-0 before dropping conference affairs to Iowa and Michigan.
A bye week after the Michigan loss provided some time to heal physically and prepare mentally for the rest of the season. Minnesota then won four straight Big Ten games, which is something it had not done since 1973. Included in the streak were wins against traditional powers Nebraska and Penn State. The Gophers ended a 16-game losing streak to the Huskers and claimed the Governor's Victory Bell from the Nittany Lions.
The Maroon and Gold then ended their season against ranked foes Wisconsin and Michigan State in physical battles. Minnesota finished 2013 with its best record since it won 10 games in 2003. The Gophers have now won eight games 18 times overall and only seven times since 1960.
A win in the Texas Bowl would be Minnesota's ninth win this season. It would also be the eighth time in program history and only the second time in the last 108 years that Minnesota would finish the season with nine wins. The Gophers won 10 games in 2003, but prior to that they last won nine games in one season in 1905.
2013 AFCA Regional Coach of the Year Winners
Football Bowl Subdivision
Region 1: Jimbo Fisher, Florida State University
Region 2: Gary Pinkel, University of Missouri
Region 3: Jerry Kill, University of Minnesota
Region 4: Art Briles, Baylor University
Region 5: David Shaw, Stanford University
Football Championship Subdivision
Region 1: Joe Moorhead, Fordham University &
Jack Cosgrove, University of Maine (tie)
Region 2: Jamey Chadwell, Charleston Southern University
Region 3: Dino Babers, Eastern Illinois University*
Region 4: Craig Bohl, North Dakota State University
Region 5: Ron Roberts, Southeastern Louisiana University
Region 1: George Mihalik, Slippery Rock University
Region 2: Scott Maxfield, Henderson State University
Region 3: Bill Conley, Ohio Dominican University
Region 4: Josh Lynn, Eastern New Mexico University
Region 5: Aaron Keen, Minnesota State University-Mankato*
Region 1: Mike Welch, Ithaca College
Region 2: Jim Monos, Lebanon Valley College
Region 3: Pete Fredenburg, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor*
Region 4: Tom Arth, John Carroll University
Region 5: Steve Johnson, Bethel (Minn.) University
Region 1: Chris Oliver, Lindsey Wilson College
Region 2: Mike Woodley, Grand View University
Region 3: Larry Wilcox, Benedictine (Kan.) College
Region 4: Ross Cimpl, Dakota Wesleyan University
Region 5: Mike Van Diest, Carroll (Mont.) College
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, and the number of divisions was increased from two to four, 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.
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