Chavis Receives Broyles Award as Top Assistant

by Bill Martin (@LSUBillMartin)
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Chavis Receives Broyles Award as Top Assistant

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis became the first assistant coach in school history to receive the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach, it was announced at a Tuesday luncheon at the Peabody Hotel.

Chavis is the 16th winner of the award named in honor of former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles. He beat out other finalists that included: Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, former Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee and Alabama assistant head coach Sal Sunseri.

Chavis guided an LSU defense that was second in the nation in both scoring and total defense, allowing 10.5 points and 252.1 yards per game, respectively. The Tigers also ranked fourth in the country in rushing defense, surrendering only 85.5 yards per contest.

The Tigers have put together a perfect 13-0 record, an undefeated regular season for the first time since 1958 and they won their 11th SEC Championship title with a 42-10 win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. No. 1 LSU will play No. 2 Alabama for the BCS National Championship on Jan. 9, 2012 in New Orleans.

Chavis became the first coordinator in SEC history to win an SEC Championship Game with two different schools. Prior to his arrival at LSU in 2009, he spent 14 seasons as the defensive coordinator at Tennessee where he won a pair of SEC titles in 1997 and 1998.

LSU has produced elite defenses under Chavis’ watch in his three seasons with the Tigers. This season, LSU held opponents to 10 or fewer points in 10 games, including six straight to end the season.

Under Chavis’ guidance, sophomore cornerback Tyrann Mathieu became the Tigers’ first Heisman Trophy finalist since 1997 while also being named SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. Junior cornerback Morris Claiborne earned All-America honors by the American Football Coaches Association, and he is a finalist for the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back.

Four LSU defenders earned the distinction of first or second team All-SEC by the league’s coaches and five earned that same recognition as voted on by the Associated Press. Chavis has developed 42 players into first-team All-SEC selections since 1995.

The finalists for the Broyles Award are chosen by a nine-man panel that may be the most prestigious of any awards panel, representing eight national championships, more than 1,600 victories, over 60 conference titles, 124 bowl game appearances and nine national head coach of the year honors. Panelists include former Georgia coach Vince Dooley, former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer and former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden.

All-Time Broyles Award Winners
1996 Mickey Andrews, Florida State
1997 Jim Herrmann, Michigan
1998 David Cutcliffe, Tennessee
1999 Ralph Friedgen, Georgia Tech
2000 Mark Mangino, Oklahoma
2001 Randy Shannon, Miami (FL)
2002 Norm Chow, Southern California
2003 Brian VanGorder, Georgia
2004 Gene Chizik, Auburn
2005 Greg Davis, Texas
2006 Bud Foster, Virginia Tech
2007 Jim Heacock, Ohio State
2008 Kevin Wilson, Oklahoma
2009 Kirby Smart, Alabama
2010 Gus Malzahn, Auburn
2011 John Chavis, LSU