BATON ROUGE, LA—Newly named Southern University head football coach, Eric Dooley named 2021 AFCA FCS Regional Coach of the Year for his efforts in leading the Prairie View A&M Football program during the 2021 season.
Eric Dooley most recently led Prairie View to the 2021 SWAC Championship game and won the SWAC Western Division Championship, finishing with an 7-5(6-2 SWAC) record. Four Panthers earned all-conference honors during the 2021 campaign. The Panthers under Coach Dooley Prairie View finished third in both team total offense and defensive categories in 2021.
The AFCA recognizes five regional Coach of the Year winners in each of the Association’s five divisions:Football Bowl Subdivision, FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA. The winners are selected by Active members of the Association who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions. The Regional winners in each division are finalists for National Coach of the Year.
2021 AFCA FCS Regional Coach of the Year Winners
Football Championship Subdivision
Region 1: Mark Ferrante, Villanova University
Region 2: Kevin Callahan, Monmouth University (N.J.)
Region 3: Walt Wells, Eastern Kentucky University and Eric Dooley, Prairie View A&M University* (tie)
Region 4: *Matt Entz, North Dakota State University
Region 5: K.C. Keeler, Sam Houston State University
*Newly Named Head Coach at Southern University
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. The number of divisions was also 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.
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