Early Named National Assistant Coach Of The Year

November 29, 2012

Middlebury offensive coordinator Joe Early has been named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Assistant Coach of the Year. The Assistant Coach of the Year Award honors assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success, and AFCA professional organization involvement. Early was a finalist for the award a year ago.

Now in his 12th year at Middlebury, Early was named offensive coordinator in 2009. For the past eight seasons, he coached the Panthers’ offensive line. Since the ’09 campaign, Middlebury’s offense led all of Division III in 10 statistical categories, as the potent offense holds 20 more top 10 appearances in the national statistics during that span, including several from the 2012 season.

The criteria for the award are not limited to on-field coaching ability or the success of the team. Service to the community through charitable work and other volunteer activities, participation in AFCA activities and events, participation in other professional organizations and impact on student-athletes are all taken into account in the selection process.

Off the field, Early has been involved in a campus leadership role as an advisor for the Newman Club while assisting with other community-based volunteer projects. Outside of the College, he has volunteered his time for several local organizations including: the Addison County Humane Society, Meals on Wheels, St. Mary’s School and the Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation. He holds the distinction of fourth degree membership in the local Knights of Columbus council #642, currently serving as council lecturer. Early maintains his commitment to the AFCA, serving as a committee member during the annual convention.

The winners of this award, selected from the Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and the NAIA, will be honored at the President’s Kickoff Luncheon on Monday, January 7, 2013 during the AFCA Convention held in Nashville, Tennessee.