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John Loose Named AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year

Dec. 8, 2008

EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach John Loose has been named Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). Created in 1997, the award honors assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement.

Loose is in his 22nd year of coaching and has spent the last eight years at Lafayette under head coach Frank Tavani. In 2007, Loose coached the top-ranked defense in the nation, as the Leopards allowed just 260.9 yards per game while also ranking fourth in rushing defense and eighth in scoring defense. His defenses have helped lead the way for Patriot League titles and NCAA playoff appearances in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

"We're all very proud of John," said Tavani, who nominated Loose for the award. "This is a well-deserved honor for an extremely hard-working individual. It's a tremendous recognition for John and for our program, especially considering the many highly-regarded assistant coaches across the country."

Loose has shown the ability to help pinpoint and mold top-flight talent. He has coached a long list of All-Patriot League performers most notably the 2007 and 2008 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Andy Romans and current Buffalo Bills' linebacker Blake Costanzo '06.

The criteria for the award are not limited to on-field coaching ability or the success of the team and players that these assistant coaches work with. Service to the community through charitable work and other volunteer activities is also a primary component.

Loose is the founder of Lauren's First and Goal, a one-day charity football camp and foundation named after his 11-year-old daughter who has been fighting brain and spinal tumors since age two. In the first five years, his foundation has raised more than $560,000. Loose's camp, and an inaugural camp at the University of South Florida, raised over $250,000 for pediatric brain tumor research and cancer services in 2008. The annual camp in Easton, which involves year-long planning, has welcomed guest speakers that have included former New York Giants QB Phil Simms, current Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, former NFL and college coach Bobby Ross, N.Y. Jets assistant coach Ben Kotwica and former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.



Each year, staff representatives from NCAA and NAIA football-playing schools are asked to nominate an assistant coach for consideration. From those nominations, a winner is selected by the AFCA Public Relations Committee. The winners of this award were selected from Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the NAIA.

The other 2008 honorees are as follows: Football Bowl Subdivision-Mac McWhorter, Associate Head Coach & Offensive Line Coach, University of Texas; Division II-Matt Entz, Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator & Linebackers Coach, Winona State University; Division III-Dick Bowzer, Quarterbacks & Receivers Coach, Central (Iowa) College; and NAIA-Dennis Murphy, Wide Receivers Coach, Benedictine (Kan.) College.

Winners of the Assistant Coach of the Year Award receive a commemorative plaque and an educational stipend to attend the 2010 AFCA Convention or any other professional development clinic/convention of their choice. They will be honored at the AFCA Kickoff Luncheon, Monday, Jan. 12 at the 2009 AFCA Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 10,000 members around the world, ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. Loose has been a member of AFCA for 21 years and has served on the Coach of the Year Committee for three years.