Bob Shoop Nominated For Broyles Award Honoring Nation’s Best Assistant Coach

Finally, somebody from the football team is being recognized by the national media for their effort this season.

While linebacker Mike Hull and kicker Sam Ficken were left off the final ballot for national awards at their respective positions, defensive coordinator Bob Shoop was nominated on Wednesday for the Broyles Award, given annually to the best college football assistant coach in the country.

With the nomination, Shoop has the chance to become the first Penn State assistant coach to win the award.

The Rotary Club of Little Rock will announce the winner on Dec. 9 in Little Rock, Ark. First awarded in 1996, it was named after former University of Arkansas men’s athletic director Frank Broyles. Every year, 1,500 assistant coaches representing all 125 FBS college football programs vote on their coaching peers, and the five finalists are chosen after tallying the ballots.

“This will be one of the most challenging years ever for our selection committee to choose the top five finalists and winner — so many assistant coaches did outstanding work this year,” Broyles Award executive director David Bazzel said in a press release.

Under Shoop, Penn State’s defense has dramatically improved after finishing 49th in total defense (381.3 ypg) in 2013 under John Butler. This year’s squad ranks third in total defense (267.2 ypg), while also remaining in the top-five in scoring defense (fourth, 16.2 ppg), pass efficiency defense (third, 98.74) and third down conversion percentage defense (.276), as well as first overall in rushing defense (81.7 ypg).

Along with developing Mike Hull into the Big Ten’s leading tackler, Shoop can be credited along with defensive line coach Sean Spencer with helping turn Penn State’s front four into one of the nation’s most fearsome units and turning freshmen defensive backs Grant Haley, Christian Campbell, and Marcus Allen into viable starting players.

“When I got here, I’d studied all of the personnel and I knew there was potential,” Shoop said last Thursday. “I knew there was a nice nucleus of seniors…I knew Deion Barnes. I knew who Austin Johnson was. I knew C.J. Olaniyan. I certainly knew who Mike Hull and Adrian Amos were. The guys are hungry. They are team-first individuals. They play hard.”

“And I think is a group that embodies the thought that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” he added. “They’ve been really neat overachievers.”

While the award is obviously a welcome honor, it does raise Shoop’s profile as a potential head coaching candidate down the road. To date, nine of the 18 winners have gone on to become head football coaches, including Auburn’s Gus Malzahn. Last season, the award was given to Michigan State’s Pat Narduzzi.

Here’s the full list of nominees:

  • Alabama – Lane Kiffin, Offensive Coordinator
  • Appalachian State – Dwayne Ledford, Co-Offensive Coordinator
  • Arizona – Jeff Casteel, Defensive Coordinator
  • Arkansas – Robb Smith, Defensive Coordinator
  • Arkansas State University – Walt Bell, Offensive Coordinator
  • Boise State University – Mike Sanford, Offensive Coordinator
  • Boston College – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator
  • Brigham Young University – Nick Howell, Defensive coordinator
  • Clemson – Brent Venables, Defensive Coordinator
  • Colorado State – Dave Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
  • Duke University – John Latina, Run Game Coordinator/OL
  • East Carolina University – Lincoln Riley, Offensive Coordinator
  • FIU – Josh Conklin, Defensive Coordinator
  • Georgia Southern University – Doug Ruse, Offensive Coordinator
  • Louisiana – Marquase Lovings, Running Backs
  • Louisiana Tech – Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator
  • Louisville – Todd Grantham, Defensive Coordinator
  • Memphis – James Shibest, Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends
  • Miami – Mark D’Onofrio, Defensive Coordinator
  • Michigan – Greg Mattison, Defensive Coordinator
  • Michigan State University – Dave Warner, Co-Offensive Coordinator
  • Minnesota – Tracy Claeys, Defensive Coordinator
  • Mississippi State – Geoff Collins, Defensive Coordinator
  • Missouri – Dave Steckel, Defensive Coordinator
  • NC State – Desmond Kitchings, Running Backs/Recruiting Coordinator
  • Ohio State University – Tom Herman, Offensive Coordinator
  • Ole Miss – Dave Wommack, Defensive Coordinator
  • Oregon – Scott Frost, Offensive Coordinator
  • Penn State University – Bob Shoop, Defensive Coordinator
  • Stanford – Lance Anderson, Defensive Coordinator
  • TCU – Doug Meacham, Co-Offensive Coordinator
  • Temple – Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator
  • UCF – Brent Key, Offensive Line Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
  • UCLA – Noel Mazzone, Offensive Coordinator
  • Utah – Kalani Sitake, Defensive Coordinator
  • Utah State University – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator
  • UTSA – Neal Neathery, Defensive Coordinator
  • West Virginia University – Tony Gibson, Defensive Coordinator
  • Western Michigan University – Kirk Ciarrocca, Offensive Coordinator
  • Wisconsin – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator

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About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.

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