Article by Bill Scott, Saint Francis (Ind.) Sports Information Director
Photo provided by the AFCA
CHARLOTTE, N.C. –
The winners were announced today at the AFCA Victory Luncheon during the 2018 AFCA Convention. They were also honored at the inaugural American Football Coaches Awards show, to be televised live tonight on CBS Sports Network at 9 p.m. EST.
"It's a great thing to be voted National Coach of the Year by your peers," Donley said. "I'm quite honored by it, but we are all about team. It's about building a team. This is a tribute to our players and our coaches."
Donley's 20th USF team was ranked No. 1 the entire 2017 season and the Cougars finished the programs' as well as Donley's first perfect season with a 24-13 win over previously unbeaten, second-ranked Reinhardt University (Ga.) on Dec. 16,
It was Donley's 316th career win, which ranks ninth on the career collegiate coaching wins list and the most wins by any active collegiate coach. USF senior quarterback Nick Ferrer led the Cougars to back-to-back titles, a USF and Mid-States Football Association record 23 consecutive wins and was named NAIA Player of the Year under Donley's guidance.
USF set a record for wins in a season by an Indiana collegiate program and posted the first undefeated season by a collegiate team from Indiana since the University of Notre Dame finished 12-0 in 1988 when the Fighting Irish were NCAA Champions.
USF will have a community-wide celebration honoring Donley and the national champion Cougars at Hutzell Athletic Center on Tues., Jan. 16, starting at noon.
All Coach of the Year winners