Georgia’s Kirby Smart and Saint Francis’ (Ind.) Kevin Donley highlight today’s announcement of the American Football Coaches Association’s 2017 Regional Coach of the Year winners. These winners will be honored at the American Football Coaches Awards, presented by Amway, broadcast live on the USA TODAY Sports Facebook page on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, at 8 p.m. EST. The awards show will air from the Crown Ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center during the 2018 AFCA Convention.
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.
Smart earned his first AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honor by guiding Georgia to a 12-1 record, the Southeastern Conference title and an appearance in the College Football Playoff. In his two seasons as a head coach, Smart has an overall record of 20-6 and has led the Bulldogs to bowl games each season. Donley earned his fourth AFCA Regional honor and third straight after guiding Saint Francis to a 13-0 record, the Mid-States Football Association Mideast title and a second straight trip to the NAIA National Championship game. He has an overall record of 315-129-1 in 39 years as a head coach, and a record of 201-44 in 20 seasons leading the Cougars. Donley is the winningest head coach in NAIA history.
Brian Bohannon of Kennesaw State University for tied AFCA Regional Coach of the Year in the Football Championship Subdivision Region 2. Bohannon was a receiver for Georgia from 1990-93.
2017 AFCA Regional Coach of the Year Winners
Football Bowl Subdivision
Region 1: Scott Frost, University of Central Florida
Region 2: Kirby Smart, University of Georgia
Region 3: Paul Chryst, University of Wisconsin
Region 4: Matt Campbell, Iowa State University
Region 5: Jeff Tedford, California State University, Fresno
Football Championship Subdivision
Region 1: Al Bagnoli, Columbia University
Region 2: Brian Bohannon, Kennesaw State University & Mike London, Howard University (tie)
Region 3: John Grass, Jacksonville State University*
Region 4: Dave Cecchini, Valparaiso University
Region 5: Demario Warren, Southern Utah University
Region 1: Mark Maciejewski, Shippensburg University
Region 2: Pete Shinnick, University of West Florida
Region 3: Lee Owens, Ashland University
Region 4: Bill Maskill, Midwestern State University
Region 5: Tom Sawyer, Winona State University
Region 1: Jason Mangone, The College at Brockport
Region 2: Mike Sirianni, Washington & Jefferson College
Region 3: Tony Kunczewski, Berry College
Region 4: Troy Abbs, Trine University
Region 5: Rick Willis, Wartburg College
Region 1: Chris Oliver, Lindsey Wilson College*
Region 2: Kevin Donley, University of Saint Francis (Ind.)*
Region 3: Larry Wilcox, Benedictine College (Kan.)
Region 4: Steve Ryan, Morningside College* & Matt McCarty, Northwestern College (Iowa) (tie)
Region 5: Charlie Hall, Southern Oregon University
AFCA National Coach of the Year: The AFCA will announce the 2017 National Coaches of the Year winners in FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA at the American Football Coaches Awards, presented by Amway, broadcast live on the USA TODAY Sports Facebook page on Tuesday, January 9, at 8 p.m. EST. The Regional winners in each division are finalists for the National Coach of the Year.