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Chennis Berry of Benedict named D2 Regional Coach Of The Year

Benedict College head coach Chennis Berry has been named D2 Region II Coach of The Year.

WACO, Texas – Benedict College head football coach Chennis Berry has been named the NCAA Division II Region 2 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association, and is now a finalist for the Division II National Coach of the Year.
 
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.
 
“To God be the glory. I’m very grateful to be recognized by my peers for such a prestigious honor,” Berry said. “I want to give a huge thank you to my coaching staff, our support staff and certainly our entire football team for all their hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Without them, none of this would be possible.”
 
Berry guided the Tigers to an 11-1 record, going undefeated in the regular season and winning the SIAC Championship, the first-ever in Benedict College history. Benedict was nationally ranked for the first time ever in school history, climbing to as high as No. 7, and advanced to the NCAA championship playoffs for the first time in school history.
 
Chennis Berry was hired in February, 2020, taking over a program that went 1-9 in 2019. The 2020 season was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Tigers went 5-5 in 2021, winning their final two games.

Chennis Berry Benedict College


 
This season, the Tigers averaged 34.6 points per game, surpassing 50 points three times. The Benedict defense was among the nation’s best all season, finishing seventh in Division II in total defense and fourth in scoring defense.
 
Berry said it is especially gratifying to be selected from Region 2, which includes football teams from the SIAC, South Atlantic Conference, CIAA, and Gulf South Conference. This region has had a representative in the national championship game each of the past five seasons, winning twice. He said it is also an honor to join Bowie State head coach Damon Wilson, who was the 2021 Region 2 Coach of the Year, as back-to-back recipients by HBCU coaches.
 
“This award means a lot to be selected from one of the best football regions in the country,” Chennis Berry said. “A region that has produced national champions and is annually recognized as one of the best and toughest in the country.”
 
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 the 25 winners they now recognize.
 
The AFCA will announce the 2022 National Coaches of the Year winners in FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA on Monday, January 9.
 

Chennis Berry of Benedict named D2 Regional Coach Of The Year
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