Valdosta, GA - Valdosta State head football coach David Dean has been named the American Football Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year for NCAA Division II Region 2, according to an announcement made by the AFCA on Monday.
Dean lead the Blazers to an 8-3 record and a spot in the NCAA Division II Playoffs this past season, marking the third time in his four years he has led his squad to postseason play. After beginning the year unranked, the Blazers rose to as high as No. 7 in the AFCA poll before finishing the regular season ranked No. 17.
Valdosta State was picked to finish third in the Gulf South Conference in the preseason, but under Dean's direction, the squad tallied a 6-2 record and claimed a share of the GSC title, its first league title since 2004 and sixth overall. Dean was named co-Coach of the Year in the GSC after the season, the first time in his career he had earned that honor.
Dean's influence and ability to teach the game was also evident in the number of personal honors bestowed upon his players in 2010 as six Blazers were named All-GSC while three earned first team All-Region honors from Daktronics and the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Senior linebacker Larry Dean was named the GSC's and South Region's Defensive Player of the Year after establishing a new VSU and GSC career record for tackles during the season.
While the 2010 Region II Coach of the Year award is the first of Dean's career, it doesn't mark the first time he has been honored by the AFCA. The organization also named him its 2007 Coach of the Year after he led VSU to a national title that year.