Bill Maskill named AFCA Regional Coach of the Year

MSU Athletic Communications
MSU Athletic Communications

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Bill Maskill guided Midwestern State through tragedy this fall to post the program's second unbeaten regular season as the 16th-year mentor of the Mustangs was named the American Football Coaches' Association Division II Regional Coach of the Year Tuesday morning.

The Wichita Falls and the entire MSU campus communities rallied in support of the team following the death of teammate Robert Grays in the season's second game. The magical season produced the program's fourth Lone Star Conference championship and the Mustangs' first playoff win since 2006.

Maskill is one of five regional winners for NCAA Division II joining Shippensburg's Mark Maciejewski, West Florida's Pete Shinnick, Ashland's Lee Owens and Winona State's Tom Sawyer.

The AFCA recognizes five regional coach of the year winners in each of the association's five divisions: Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Football Championship 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 winners will be honored at the American Football Coaches Awards presented by Amway and broadcasted live on the USA Today Sports Facebook page on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 at 7 p.m. (Central). The awards show will air from the Crown Ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center during the 2018 AFCA Convention.

The AFCA will announce the 2017 National Coaches of the Year winners in FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA at the American Football Coaches' Awards.

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 the 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 recognized.

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