DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre has been named the National Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), announced by the organization on Wednesday.
"Mike is truly deserving of this honor," said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. "This recognition is very special for Mike and his family, and also says volumes about our entire defensive staff and our student-athletes. Mike is one of the finest football coaches I've been around over the course of my career. I couldn't be happier for Mike to receive this award."
Through 10 games this season, Duke ranks sixth in the ACC and 41st nationally in total defense by allowing 342.8 yards per game. For the first time in 15 seasons, the Blue Devils held three consecutive ACC opponents (Maryland, Virginia & North Carolina) to fewer than 20 points. In 2008, the Blue Devil defense allowed 23.4 points per game -- the program's lowest total in 20 seasons -- and held three opponents to less than 10 points for the first time since 1976.
Coach MacIntyre demands perfection," said Duke junior linebacker Adam Banks. "He is always ready with a way to help you get there. If he sees something you are having trouble with, he will figure out a different plan to make that play. His passion for football is incredible."
Coach MacIntyre is a real energetic and passionate guy," said Duke redshirt senior defensive end Ayanga Okpokowuruk. "He pushes us on every snap to get better. Off the field in meetings, he really stresses being prepared, to be on time and take notes. I know a lot of guys have gone on into the business world and taken a lot of those concepts with them to become successful."
MacIntyre joined Cutcliffe at Duke prior to the 2008 season after five years in the NFL, serving four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (2003-06) and one campaign with the New York Jets (2007). Prior to entering the professional ranks, he served on Cutcliffe's staff at Ole Miss from 1999-02, helping the Rebels to a four-year ledger of 29-19 with three bowl appearances.
A 1989 graduate of Georgia Tech, MacIntyre got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Georgia (1990-91) and then spent the 1992 season as the defensive coordinator at Davidson College. He also served stints at Tennessee-Martin (1993-96) and Temple (1997-98) before joining Cutcliffe in Oxford. The other divisional winners of this year's AFCA awards include Mark Speir of Appalachian State (FCS), David Needs of Carson-Newman College (NCAA Division II), Jeff Thomas of the University of Redlands (NCAA Division III) and Josh Gehring of Morningside College (NAIA). “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 2011 AFCA Convention or another professional development clinic/convention of their choice. They will be honored at the AFCA Kickoff Luncheon, Monday, January 11 at the 2010 AFCA Convention in Orlando, Fla.
The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 10,000 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.”