NDSU FB: Klieman, Eight Other Bison Take Home Accolades

Klieman Named Regional Coach of the Year; Eight Bison Named All-Americans

CHICAGO (NDSU Athletics) – Quarterback Easton Stick, a finalist for the Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player in FCS, was one of eight players from North Dakota State named to the STATS FCS All-America Team announced Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Stick is up for the Payton along with senior quarterbacks Chandler Burks of Kennesaw State and Devlin Hodges of Samford. Their order on the All-America team will be determined after the banquet.

North Dakota State center Tanner Volson and safety Robbie Grimsley made the first team, offensive tackle Zack Johnson and linebacker Jabril Cox the second team, and defensive end Greg Menard, punter Garret Wegner and punt returner Darrius Shepherd the third team.

It was the first All-America honor for Shepherd, who ranks fourth in the FCS in punt returns with 15.6 yards per return.

No. 1-ranked North Dakota State (14-0) plays third-ranked Eastern Washington (12-2) in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Game at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

WACO, Texas – (NDSU Athletics) Alabama’s Nick Saban and North Dakota State’s Chris Klieman highlight the American Football Coaches Association’s 2018 Regional Coach of the Year winners announced Tuesday, Dec. 18. These winners will be honored at the American Football Coaches Awards on Tuesday, Jan. 8, during the 2019 AFCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

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.

Saban earned his third AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honor by guiding Alabama to a 13-0 record, the Southeastern Conference title and the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff. In his 12 seasons at Alabama, Saban has a record of 140-20 and guided the Crimson Tide to five national titles. His overall record in 23 years as a collegiate head coach at Toledo, Michigan State, LSU and Alabama is 231-62-1 with 19 bowl appearances and a sixth national title at LSU in 2003.

Klieman earned his first AFCA Regional honor by leading North Dakota State to a 14-0 record, the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) title and a second straight trip to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) national championship game. He has an overall record of 68-6 in five years as a head coach, and has guided the Bison to three FCS national championships and five MVFC titles.

North Dakota State head coaches have claimed 13 AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors, the third most in the history of the award program behind Mount Union (18) and Nebraska (15). Previous NDSU winners include Darrell Mudra, Ron Erhardt (4), Jim Wacker, Don Morton (3), Earle Solo­monson and Craig Bohl (2).

AFCA National Coach of the Year: The AFCA will announce the 2018 National Coaches of the Year winners in FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA at the American Football Coaches Awards on Tuesday, Jan. 8. The Regional winners in each division are finalists for National Coach of the Year.

Award History: 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. The number of divisions was also 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.

2018 AFCA Regional Coach of the Year Winners
Football Bowl Subdivision
Region 1: Dino Babers, Syracuse University
Region 2: Nick Saban, University of Alabama
Region 3: Brian Kelly, University of Notre Dame
Region 4: *Matt Campbell, Iowa State University
Region 5: Mike Leach, Washington State University

Football Championship Subdivision
Region 1: Joe Harasymiak, University of Maine
Region 2: *Brian Bohannon, Kennesaw State University
Region 3: *John Grass, Jacksonville State University
Region 4: Chris Klieman, North Dakota State University
Region 5: Eric Morris, University of the Incarnate Word

Division II
Region 1: Bill Zwaan, West Chester University
Region 2: Drew Cronic, Lenoir-Rhyne University
Region 3: Keith Otterbein, Hillsdale College
Region 4: Todd Knight, Ouachita Baptist University
Region 5: Todd Hoffner, Minnesota State University

Division III
Region 1: *Jason Mangone, The College at Brockport
Region 2: Jim Margraff, Johns Hopkins University
Region 3: Pete Fredenburg, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Region 4: Larry Kindbom, Washington University in St. Louis
Region 5: Kevin Bullis, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Region 1: James Miller, Reinhardt University
Region 2: Mark Henninger, Marian University
Region 3: *Larry Wilcox, Benedictine College (Kan.)
Region 4: *Steve Ryan, Morningside College
Region 5: *Charlie Hall, Southern Oregon University
*-2017 winner


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