AU Football Coach Lee Owens Named AFCA President

Football Coach Lee Owens Named AFCA President

1/12/2016 ASHLAND, Ohio - AU head football coach Lee Owens is entering his 13th season leading the Eagles in 2016, but he is adding another title to the top of his resume this year, as well.

On Tuesday (Jan. 12) afternoon, Owens was introduced as the president of the American Football Coaches Association for 2016, moving up from second vice-president of the AFCA.
"It's a tribute, number one, to Ashland University," Owens said. "There's only two Division II head coaches on the board, and there's a bunch of Division II schools. The fact that I was at Ashland University and in the GLIAC was a big consideration when the coaches voted.
"Personally, just to have the opportunity to serve a profession that has meant so much to me for so many years, it's important."
In 2015, Owens led the Eagles to a 10-0 regular-season record and a 10-1 overall mark, including three home wins against nationally-ranked teams, and their fourth NCAA Division II postseason appearance in his 12 seasons. He also led AU to its highest-ever ranking of No. 3 in the AFCA Division II Top 25 poll.
Following the season, Owens earned Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Football Co-Coach of the Year and AFCA Division II Region 3 Coach of the Year honors.
Owens is 89-42 (.679) at Ashland, with a pair of GLIAC titles and three GLIAC Coach of the Year honors to his credit.
Owens was elected to the AFCA Board of Trustees in 2007. He has been an active member of the association, serving on several committees, and is the chairman of the AFCA Division II Coaches' All-America Team Selection committee.
Owens is the third Ohio-based coach to be president of the AFCA this decade, following Cincinnati's Tommy Tuberville (2015) and Mount Union's Larry Kehres (2010). The distinction isn't lost on Owens, whose entire coaching career – college and high school – since 1977 has been spent in the Buckeye State.
"The state of Ohio has always been so well represented in our association," Owens said.
Owens becoming AFCA president very much is a full-circle moment. He was an assistant coach at Ohio State when head coach John Cooper served in the same capacity in 1992, and Cooper is in San Antonio, Texas, at the AFCA Convention to receive the 2016 Amos Alonzo Stagg Award – at a luncheon Owens will emcee.
"I remember going to the banquet where he presided," said Owens, "and you think about that and the impression that it made. I looked at the position that he held at that time. But I really think it was that particular evening with coach Cooper that the seed was planted.
"We've got to continue to tell the story about the positives of our game, and we've got to continue to do the things we need to do to make the changes we need to make to protect our game. For the next year…I get a chance to help be a spokesperson for that. As long as I coach, I would like to continue to serve."
List of AFCA Presidents
1921 Maj. Charles D. Daly, U.S. Military Academy (Chair)
1969 Paul Dietzel, University of South Carolina
1922 Maj. Charles D. Daly, U.S. Military Academy
1970 Frank Broyles, University of Arkansas
1923 John W. Heisman, University of Pennsylvania
1971 Earle Edwards, North Carolina State University
1924 John W. Heisman, Rice Institute
1972 Paul Bryant, University of Alabama
1925 Robert Zuppke, University of Illinois
1973 John McKay, University of Southern California
1926 Gilmour Dobie, Cornell University
1974 Bob Blackman, University of Illinois
1927 William H. Cowell, University of New Hampshire
1975 Darrell Royal, University of Texas
1928 William W. Roper, Princeton University
1976 Eddie Robinson, Grambling State University
1929 Hugo Bezdek, Pennsylvania State College
1977 Ben Martin, U.S. Air Force Academy
1930 W.A. Alexander, Georgia Tech
1978 Carmen Cozza, Yale University
1931 John F. Meehan, Manhattan College
1979 Charles McClendon, Louisiana State University
1932 Dr. Marvin A. Stevens, Yale University
1980 Jerry Claiborne, University of Maryland
1933 D.E. McGugin, Vanderbilt University
1981 Harold "Tubby" Raymond, University of Delaware
1934 Dana X. Bible, University of Nebraska
1982 Jim Ostendarp, Amherst College
1935 B.W. Bierman, University of Minnesota
1983 Bo Schembechler, University of Michigan
1936 D.O. McLaughry, Brown University
1984 Dave Maurer, Wittenberg University
1937 Harry Kipke, University of Michigan
1985 Vince Dooley, University of Georgia
1938 Harry A. Stuhldreher, University of Wisconsin
1986 Vic Rowen, San Francisco State University
1939 Lou Little, Columbia University
1987 LaVell Edwards, Brigham Young University
1940 A.N. McMillin, Indiana University
1988 Joe Restic, Harvard University
1941 Fritz Crisler, University of Michigan
1989 Don James, University of Washington
1942 Madison Bell, Southern Methodist University
1990 John Majors, University of Tennessee
1943 Madison Bell, Southern Methodist University
1991 Bill Manlove, Widener University
1944 Ray Morrison, Temple University
1992 John Cooper, Ohio State University
1945 Ray Morrison, Temple University
1993 Hayden Fry, University of Iowa
1946 Richard C. Harlow, Harvard University
1994 Ron Schipper, Central College
1947 E.E. Wieman, University of Maine
1995 Billy Joe, Florida A&M University
1948 Harvey Harman, Rutgers University
1996 Fisher DeBerry, U.S. Air Force Academy
1949 L.R. Meyer, Texas Christian University
1997 Don Nehlen, West Virginia University
1950 Lynn O. Waldorf, University of California
1998 Roy Kidd, Eastern Kentucky University
1951 Lloyd P. Jordan, Harvard University
1999 Rocky Rees, Shippensburg University
1952 Carl G. Snavely, University of North Carolina
2000 Bob Ford, University at Albany
1953 Don Faurot, University of Missouri
2001 Joe Taylor, Hampton University
1954 George A. Munger, University of Pennsylvania
2002 Glen Mason, University of Minnesota
1955 Ray Eliot, University of Illinois
2003 Phil Fulmer, University of Tennessee
1956 Jess C. Neely, Rice Institute
2004 Ken Hatfield, Rice University
1957 George K. James, Cornell University
2005 Scot Dapp, Moravian College
1958 Charles B. Wilkinson, University of Oklahoma
2006 Mel Tjeerdsma, Northwest Missouri State University
1959 Wallace Butts, University of Georgia
2007 Ken Sparks, Carson-Newman College
1960 Charles A. Engle, Pennsylvania State University
2008 Tyrone Willingham, University of Washington
1961 Jack C. Curtice, Stanford University
2009 Dick Tomey, San Jose State University
1962 William D. Murray, Duke University
2010 Larry Kehres, University of Mount Union
1963 Woody Hayes, Ohio State University
2011 Rob Ash, Montana State University
1964 Len Casanova, University of Oregon
2012 Tim Murphy, Harvard University
1965 Abe Martin, Texas Christian University
2013 Mack Brown, University of Texas
1966 Dan Jessee, Trinity College
2014 Mike Welch, Ithaca College
1967 Ben Schwartzwalder, Syracuse University
2015 Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati
1968 Murray Warmath, University of Minnesota
2016 Lee Owens, Ashland


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