Indiana head football coach Tom Allen has been named the Werner Ladder American Football Coaches Association Region 3 Coach of the Year, the organization announced on Tuesday morning. Allen joins Bill Mallory (1986 and 1987) as the only IU head coaches to earn Region 3 Coach of the Year honors.
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 AFCA will announce the 2020 Werner Ladder AFCA FBS National Coach of the Year on Tuesday, Jan. 12, during the virtual AFCA Convention. The Regional winners are finalists for National Coach of the Year.
Allen, also a candidate for the Dodd Trophy and the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards, has the Hoosiers ranked No. 7 in the country with a 6-1 record. Below are some of the program’s notable 2020 achievements:
•IU is ranked for the eighth-consecutive week, its longest streak since 1945 (9), coming in at No. 7 in the Associated Press Top 25 and at No. 7 in the Amway Coaches Poll presented by USA Today Sports.
•The Hoosiers have been ranked in the Top 10 five times in 2020, the most for the program since 1967 (5 weeks) and tied for the second-most in school history (9 weeks in 1945).
•Indiana collected its first Top-10 ranking in the Nov. 8 AP Poll (No. 10) since Sept. 22, 1969 (No. 10), and its No.7 rating is its best in the AP Poll since Nov. 27, 1967 (No. 4).
•IU entered the CFP rankings for the first time in program history on Nov. 24, and currently sits at No. 12.
•The Hoosiers are one of three teams in the country (Alabama, North Carolina) with three Top-25 victories.
•Their three Top-25 wins also match the 1945 team’s program record.
•Indiana’s 6-1 record is its best overall start since 1993 (7-1) and its best conference start since 1967 (6-1).
•IU is 14-6 overall and 11-5 in league play since the beginning of the 2019 campaign. Its 14 victories share third and its 11 Big Ten wins rank third among all B1G teams during that span.
•With their victory over Maryland, the Hoosiers clinched a winning league record in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1987-88 and for the sixth time overall (1967-68, 1944-46 and 1936-37).
•Indiana’s six conference wins are tied for the most in school history (1967, 1987)
•IU’s 11 Big Ten victories are tied for the most in program history over a two-year span (1987-88).
•The Hoosiers collected their first win over No. 16 Wisconsin (14-6) since defeating the Badgers in back-to-back seasons on Oct. 6, 2001 (63-32) and on Oct. 12, 2002 (32-29), the former coming at Camp Randall Stadium.
•Indiana recorded its first road victory over a ranked opponent since No. 18 Missouri on Sept. 20, 2014 (31-27), and its first B1G road win over a ranked opponent since No. 22 Michigan State on Nov. 10, 2001 (37-28).
•Wisconsin’s six points marked its lowest total against IU since Oct. 24,1992 (3), and it was U-W’s first game without a touchdown since Oct. 3, 2015, against Iowa.
•The Hoosiers matched a school record with five-straight league victories (1967) before losing at No. 3 Ohio State and have won 11 of their last 14, their most successful stretch in conference games in program history.
•Indiana defeated Michigan State, 24-0, to reclaim the Old Brass Spittoon for the first time since 2016 and earn its first win in East Lansing since 2001.
•IU’s 38-21 victory over No. 23 Michigan was its first over the Wolverines since Oct. 24, 1987 (14-10).
•The Hoosiers 36-35, overtime win against No. 8 Penn State in the season opener was the sixth against a Top-10 opponent in school history, with the last coming at No. 9 Ohio State (31-10) on Oct. 10, 1987.
•It marked Indiana’s first Top-10 victory at Memorial Stadium since Nov. 25, 1967 (No. 3 Purdue, 19-14).
•IU has defeated PSU, U-M, MSU and UW in the same season for the first time in program history and beaten the Wolverines and Spartans in the same year for the first time since 1967.
Werner Ladder became the title sponsor of the AFCA FBS Regional and National Coach of the Year awards in August of 2019 and is the world leader in ladders with a complete line of climbing products designed for working at heights.
“Werner Ladder is excited to join the AFCA in announcing the 2020 Werner Ladder AFCA FBS Regional Coaches of the Year,” said Stacy Gardella, vice president of brand marketing at WernerCo. “These five coaches have ‘stepped up’ and shown great leadership leading their teams to unbelievable seasons during one of the most difficult years in recent memory.”
Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell takes home Region 1 honors. In earning his first Regional honor, Fickell has the Bearcats at No. 6 in the Amway Coaches Poll, undefeated on the season at 8-0 and playing in the American Athletic Conference Championship. He has an overall record of 34-13 at Cincinnati with back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2018 and 2019. The Bearcats have won two straight bowl games under Fickell and will look to make it three at the end of the 2020 season.
The only two-time winner in this year’s class comes from Region 2 in Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell. Chadwell earned his second AFCA Regional honor by guiding the Chanticleers to a 11-0 mark and an appearance in the Sun Belt Conference Championship game. This is Coastal Carolina’s first-ever undefeated regular season. Chadwell has 19 wins in his three seasons as head coach at Coastal, and 62 victories in his 11 seasons as a head coach at North Greenville, Delta State and Charleston Southern. Chadwell’s first Regional honor came in 2013 when he led Charleston Southern to a 12-3 record.
For Region 4, it is yet another first-time winner in Doc Holliday from Marshall. In his 11th season, Holliday has guided the Thundering Herd to a 7-1 record and an appearance in the Conference USA title game. He has recorded 85 wins at Marshall, including three-straight seasons with 10-or-more victories from 2013 to 2015. The Thundering Herd went 13-1 in 2014 with a Conference USA title and victory in the Boca Raton Bowl. Holliday has also led Marshall to seven bowl games, winning six of them.
The Region 5 winner is San Jose State’s Brent Brennan. Brennan has led the Spartans to a 6-0 record and the program’s first-ever Mountain West conference title game. This is also San Jose State’s first regular season winning record since 2012. The Spartans are ranked No. 25 in the latest Amway Coaches Poll. Brennan is in his fourth season as the Spartans’ head coach and 10th season overall at San Jose State.