Tuesday, December 16, 2008
December 9, 2008
Little Rock, Ark. — The Oklahoma Sooners have the best offense in the nation. Now, they can boast of the top assistant coach, as well. Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson was presented the 13th Annual Frank Broyles Award by officials from The Rotary Club of Little Rock during a luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel on Tuesday. The award is given annually to the nation’s top NCAA assistant football coach.
Other finalists include Florida associate head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Charlie Strong, who will get another crack at besting Wilson in the National Championship Game; former Utah assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Gary Andersen, who was recently named head coach at Utah State; TCU defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Dick Bumpas; and Ball State offensive coordinator Stan Parrish.
Wilson’s offense is coming off one the greatest five-game stretches in NCAA history, and is the highest-scoring team in NCAA history. Oklahoma’s 62-21 victory over Missouri in the Big 12 Championship Game last Saturday was the fifth consecutive game that the Sooners have gone over 60 points, a feat last accomplished 89 years ago. Oklahoma finished the season with 702 total points scored, the first team in the NCAA to score more than 700 for a season in the modern era.
More important, Oklahoma is one victory away a national championship. With the nation’s highest-scoring offense and a quarterback, Sam Bradford, who is a clear finalist for the Heisman trophy, is there any need to make a further case for why Wilson was again a finalist for the Broyles Award?
Wilson, who was a finalist in 2000 as a member of the Northwestern staff, has directed what may end up being the most explosive and prolific offense in the storied history of the Sooners’ program. Oklahoma, which is 12-1 and will play Florida in the National Championship game, leads the nation in scoring offense, averaging 54 points per game. The Sooners have scored at least 61 points in each of their past five games, including victories over Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, both ranked in the top 10 at the time.
“Kevin has done a remarkable job of building an offense with great balance and diversity,” Stoops said. “Not only has he schemed us in a way that makes our team difficult to defend, but he has developed players at several positions who are now excelling for us. I can’t say enough about his work here; he has been a tremendous asset.”
No one has excelled more than Bradford, who averages 343 passing yards per game, has thrown 48 touchdowns to six interceptions and leads the nation with a 186 quarterback rating. But this isn’t just a passing offense. The Sooners two feature backs, and Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray, average 85 and 77 rushing yards per game, respectively. Four times this season both Murray and Brown each went over 100 yards rushing.
Perhaps most impressive is the number of players that have found success in Wilson’s schemes. In four games this season, six different Sooner players have scored a touchdown.
Most everyone that follows college football knew Oklahoma’s offense was talented before the Sooners late-season assault on opponents’ end zones. But the past three games have ratcheted the nation’s respect for Wilson’s offensive squad into the stratosphere.
On Nov. 22, against Texas Tech, then the hottest team and No. 2 in the nation, Oklahoma piled up 625 yards of total offense and scored on 10 of 13 possessions in a game that was never close. Then, the next week, playing then-No. 7 Oklahoma State and needing an impressive performance to move up in the BCS standings, the Sooners had 557 yards of offense in another dominating offensive performance. From the second quarter on, Oklahoma had eight possessions. It scored seven touchdowns and a field goal.
Before the game, Oklahoma was ranked below Texas in the BCS standing. Bradford, who passed for 370 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for another, against Oklahoma State, said it was Wilson that provided the inspiration the team needed.
“We did a great job responding," Bradford said. “Coach Wilson challenged us before the game that when things aren’t going good, great teams fight back.”
In the Big 12 Championship game last Saturday the Tigers had little chance against the Oklahoma juggernaut. The Sooners filed up 627 yards of total offense, and set the seaon scoring record with 3:33 left in the game.
Wilson himself offered a frightening scenario to Florida—he thinks his offense can get even better.
“Really strong teams play well at the end,” Wilson said. “We’ve been trying to emphasize to our guys for weeks that as well as we’ve been playing, we still think our best ball’s in front of us.”
About the Broyles Award
There are few coaches whose efforts have forever impacted the game of college football. Bear Bryant, Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy and Eddie Robinson have set the standard for victories and championships on the gridiron. However, when it comes to selecting, developing and producing great assistant coaches, the legacy of Frank Broyles stands alone.
Former Broyles assistant coaches who have become head coaches have gone on to coach in 20 percent of all Super Bowls and win almost 15 percent of all Super Bowl titles plus five national collegiate championships, more than 40 conference titles and more than 2,000 games. More than 25 Broyles assistants went on to become head coaches at the college or professional level, including Joe Gibbs, Hayden Fry, Raymond Berry, Jimmy Johnson, Johnny Majors, Jackie Sherrill and Barry Switzer (full list below).
In 1996, the Broyles Award was established to recognize the dedicated, hard-working assistants like those who worked for Broyles, and to date, 59 finalists and 11 winners have been honored. Like many of Broyles’ assistants who went on to do great things, numerous coaches recognized by the Broyles Award have since remained in the spotlight, with 25% of finalists and winners going on to become head coaches, including four of the six finalists from 2004.
The Broyles Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of major collegiate football awards. The purpose of the NCFAA is to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of college football’s various awards. The NCFAA also encourages professionalism and the highest standards possible for the administration of college football awards and the selection of their winners.