LITTLE ROCK -- Georgia defensive coordinator Brian
VanGorder, whose squad improved despite injuries and players lost
to the NFL, was named the Broyles Award winner Tuesday.
The award, given to the top assistant football coach in the
nation, was announced before an audience of about 600 at an awards
banquet in Little Rock.
VanGorder, 44, lost four Bulldogs to the NFL last year and four
starters to season-ending injuries. But his defense was even better
in the just-concluded season than it was a year ago.
Georgia ranked third this season nationally in scoring defense,
fourth in total defense and sixth in pass defense.
VanGorder was one of five finalists for the eighth-annual award.
He also was a finalist last year.
The other four finalists were Minnesota offensive coordinator
Mitch Browning, Michigan offensive coordinator Terry Malone, Miami
of Ohio offensive coordinator Shane Montgomery and Southern
Mississippi defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix.
The Broyles Award is named in honor of longtime Arkansas
athletic director Frank Broyles. In his 19-year tenure as the
Razorbacks' coach, he had more than 25 assistants go on to become
college and pro football head coaches, including Doug Dickey, Joe
Gibbs, Hayden Fry, Jimmy Johnson, Johnny Majors, Jackie Sherrill
and Barry Switzer.
Broyles Award nominations are submitted by the 117 NCAA Division
I head coaches. Previous Broyles Award winners are: Florida State
defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews (1996); Michigan defensive
coordinator Jim Herrmann (1997); former Tennessee offensive
coordinator David Cutcliffe (1998); former Georgia Tech offensive
coordinator Ralph Friedgen (1999); former Oklahoma offensive
coordinator Mark Mangino (2000); Miami defensive coordinator Randy
Shannon (2001); and Southern California offensive coordinator Norm