Craig Mullins is AFCA's 2011 NAIA Assistant Coach of the Year. Photo by Richard Davis
Football - Mon, Nov. 28, 2011
The American Football Coaches Association is proud to
announce its 2011 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.
Earning the NAIA honor this year is Georgetown College's
offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Craig Mullins, a 15-year veteran on
the Orange & Black sidelines. After graduating from GC in 1991, he began
coaching as an assistant at Ryle High School. From there, Mullins moved to
Pennsylvania to coach with Kevin Donley, who coached him during his time at
Mullins returned to his alma mater in 1997 when Bill
Cronin was named head coach. Since that time, GC has won two national
championships and been runner-up twice. Mullins has coached two Mid-South
Conference Offensive Players of the Year, one of which was Eddie Eviston. The
quarterback also was three-time NAIA Offensive Player of the Year and once NAIA
Outstanding Player of the Year honoree.
This season alone, the Tigers offense is third in the
nation for first downs, fifth in total pass offense, 11th pass offense per
game, 13th scoring offense per game, 17th in total offensive yards per game and
20th in third down conversions. Many anticipated this year's offense to be so
stellar, but behind the direction of seasoned-quarterback Kaelin Ammons.
Mullins lost his senior signal caller early in the fourth game of the season
and has since be bringing true freshman Neal Pawsat along. The Tigers have not
missed a beat, going undefeated thus far. They are No. 3 in the nation and will
play in the 2011 NAIA Football Championship Series Semifinals this Saturday
against Carroll College in Montana.
Mullins is also very active in his church and community
outreach. He serves as a volunteer with Harmony Christian Church by teaching Bible
classes, leading youth groups and serving as a greeter. He supervises the
community service projects of the football team, which has accumulated over
1,000 hours of community service the past two years. The team has participated
in Habitat for Humanity projects, volunteered at Quest Farm and visited
numerous senior citizen homes. He is also involved with the Student-Athlete
Advisory Committee, which has worked at various events such as Toys for Tots,
the Salvation Army and promotes blood drives on campus. He serves as the football
team's academic coordinator and volunteers with the "M.A.L.E. 8" program, which
is a mentoring program for young students at Georgetown.
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
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.
Other 2011 honorees are as follows: Football Bowl
Subdivision-Norm Parker, Defensive Coordinator, University of Iowa; Football
Championship Subdivision-Jason McEndoo, Offensive Line Coach, Montana State
University; Division II-Hank McClung, Offensive Line Coach, University of
Central Missouri; and Division III-Greg Peterson, Offensive Coordinator, Bethel
"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 and an educational stipend to attend
the 2013 AFCA Convention or another professional development clinic/convention
of their choice. They will be honored at the AstroTurf President's Kickoff
Luncheon, Monday, January 9 at the 2012 AFCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than
11,000 members around the world, ranging from the high school level to the
professional ranks. According to its constitution, the AFCA was formed, in
part, to "maintain the highest possible standards in football and the coaching
profession" and to "provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters
pertaining to football and coaching."