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CCU’s Newland Isaac named 2021 AFCA FBS Assistant Coach of the Year

Award honors the top assistant coach in FBS
CCU co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Newland Isaac.
CCU co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Newland Isaac.(WMBF)
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 2:38 PM EST
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WACO, Texas – Coastal Carolina football co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Newland Isaac has been named the 2021 AFCA FBS Assistant Coach of the Year, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) announced today.

One assistant coach from the five divisions of college football has been selected for their dedication to their teams and communi­ties. A total of 50 nominees from Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, and NAIA were nominated in 2021.

In his fourth season at Coastal Carolina, Isaac has been a part of head coach Jamey Chadwell’s staff for 11 years overall, helping Chadwell’s teams win championships at the NCAA Division II level at North Greenville University, at the FCS level at Charleston Southern, and now at the FBS level at Coastal Carolina.

As the co-offensive coordinator in each of the last three seasons, Isaac has helped the Chants go from 5-7 in 2019 to 11-1 in 2020 and now 10-2 in 2021. In each of the past three seasons, the offense has also ranked in the top-10 nationally in all of FBS in multiple statistical categories.

This year, the Coastal offense currently ranks seventh in all of FBS in scoring (40.4 ppg), sixth in total offense (493.1 ypg), sixth in rushing offense (231.2 ypg), and 27th in red-zone offense (89.1 percent). The CCU offense also leads the nation in third-down conversion percentage (54.1 percent) and is fourth nationally in fourth-down conversion percentage (75.0). His running backs unit is averaging 5.73 yards per carry this season which leads all of FBS.

Running back Shermari Jones is second in the Sun Belt and ranks eighth nationally in yards per carry at 6.5 on the season, trailing teammates Braydon Bennett and Reese White who are averaging 7.8 and 7.3 yards per rush this season, receptively.

He also leads the Sun Belt and ranks 24th nationally in rushing yards per game at 98.8 and is second in the league among all running backs with 988 total rushing yards on the season despite splitting time in the backfield with both Bennett and White.

Jones is also tied for first in the Sun Belt and 22nd nationally in rushing touchdowns with 13, as he has recorded three games with two rushing scores and one game with three rushing touchdowns on the season. His 13 touchdowns are also tied for the most total touchdowns in the Sun Belt.

Overall, coach Isaac’s group has had six 100-yard rushing games combined from three different backs on the season, which includes a 211-yard performance from Jones in the regular-season finale at South Alabama (Nov. 26).

Winners of the Assistant Coach of the Year Award will receive a plaque to commemorate their recognition. They will be honored at the AFCA Honors Luncheon, held Monday, January 10, during the 2022 AFCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

Each year, staff representatives from NCAA and NAIA football-playing schools are asked to nominate an assistant for consideration. From those nominations, the winners are selected by the AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year Committee.

The Assistant Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1997 and was created to honor assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success, and AFCA professional organization involvement.

The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 11,000 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.”

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