Dec. 6, 2010
WACO, Texas – Baylor head coach Art Briles has been named the American Football Coaches Association’s 2010 Regional Coach of the Year for Region 4, the organization announced Monday.
Briles, a first-time winner, guided Baylor to a 7-5 record in 2010 – its first winning season since 1995 – and will make its first bowl appearance since 1994 when it faces Illinois at the Texas Bowl on Dec. 29.
Baylor’s seven overall wins and four conference wins are the most by a Bears team in the 15-year history of the Big 12 Conference. The Bears were ranked as high as No. 22 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA TODAY coaches’ polls, giving Baylor its highest ranking since the 1991 season.
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 in their respective regions and divisions. The 2010 Regional Coach of the Year winners will be recognized at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner at the 2011 AFCA Convention in Dallas, Texas. The dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 11.
Baylor is allotted 12,000 tickets for the 2010 Texas Bowl. The tickets, which are priced at $75, $65, $60 and $25, may be purchased online at www.BaylorBears.com, by calling the Baylor Athletic Ticket Office at 254-710-1000 or in person at the Ferrell Center box office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. All tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis, and sent via express mail on Dec. 20th.
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, and the number of divisions was 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.