Lenoir-Rhyne’s Mike Jacobs has been named the South Atlantic Conference’s Coach of the Year as announced by the league this morning. Jacobs becomes the sixth LR head coach to earn league Coach of the Year honors. Additionally, five players were named First Team All-Conference while eight others were named First Team All-Division.
Jacobs led the Bears to a 10-1 mark and a Piedmont Division Title as well as a 48-7 thumping of Tusculum to claim the SAC Championship. Jacobs’ Bears have earned the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Division II Playoffs and will host Shepherd College of West Virginia on Saturday at 1pm. They were ranked as high as No. 7 nationally this season and were a perfect 5-0 at home. This is Jacobs’ third career Conference Coach of the Year accolade as he earned two at Notre Dame College in the Mountain East.
On the first team All-Conference offense, Dwayne McGee and Shane Wells earned the distinction. Wells paved the way for McGee’s 1,167 rushing yards this season and helped McGee find the end zone nine times on the ground and one more through the air. Wells helped keep LR quarterbacks clean for four straight games without a sack. McGee posted the 25th all-time 1,000 yard rushing season by an LR runner.
Defensively, Andre Jefferson and Jon Ross Maye earned First Team All-SAC Defensive honors. Jefferson was a force on the D-Line all season and came away with a team-high eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. Maye leads LR with 79 total tackles and 48 solo stops while adding 2.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and five pass break ups. Maye and Jefferson have led LR to one of the best defensive units in the nation, allowing the second-fewest points per game at 10.5. LR has only allowed opponents to rush for 869 yards, just the fifth season in the 104 years of LR history that opponents haven’t reached 1,000 yards on the ground.