Fowles Chosen NCAA Division III Coordinator Coach of the Year

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Glen Fowles, offensive coordinator for the Willamette University football team, has been selected to receive the FootballScoop.com NCAA Division III Coordinator Coach of the Year Award for the 2008 season. Fowles coached the Willamette offense to a record-breaking season.

The Bearcats achieved an 11-1 overall record after advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs. Willamette defeated Occidental College, 48-33, in the first round of the playoffs, before losing to eventual national runner-up the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 30-27.

Willamette was 10-0 during the regular season and won the Northwest Conference championship with a 6-0 mark. The Bearcats scored 30 or more points in each of their first 11 games during the season.

Led by Fowles and Willamette's other offensive coaches, the Bearcats scored a school record 498 points and averaged 41.5 points per game. The 'Cats earned a school record 69 touchdowns overall, with 61 on offense and eight by the defense or special teams.

"Glen did an outstanding job in leading our record-setting offense, which in itself was an exceptional achievement," Head Coach Mark Speckman said, "but losing the starting quarterback (Ryan Whitcomb late in the first quarter of the season opener) and the starting tailback (Kyle Johnson in the fourth game) made it an even more incredible feat."

The Bearcats possessed a quick-strike offense that set school records despite an average time of possession of 27:53 per contest. Willamette often scored on just one, two or three plays, and frequently put points on the scoreboard on drives of three minutes or less.

Willamette ranked sixth in NCAA Division III in scoring offense and was 10th in fewest sack allowed (9 in 12 games). WU ranked third in the nation in team passing efficiency with an overall rating of 172.73. The Bearcats were 15th in rushing offense with 251.17 yards per game and finished 28th in total offense with 415.58 yards per game.

Fowles brought out the best in many of his players. Quarterback Grant Leslie (Sr., Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS) achieved a 170.86 passing efficiency rating while completing 114 of 194 passes (58.8%) for 1,914 yards. He threw 19 touchdown passes and was intercepted only three times.

Tailback Deon Horne (Jr., Issaquah, WA/Liberty HS) led the Bearcats with 988 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 137 carries (7.2 avg.). Senior flanker Merben Woo (Salinas, CA/North Salinas HS/Hartnell College) rushed for 816 yards and nine touchdowns on 107 carries (7.6 avg.) and caught 41 passes for 890 yards and eight scores. Scott Schoettgen (So., WR, Columbia, CA/Sonora HS) hauled in 29 passes for 632 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Willamette offensive line, which was directly coached by Fowles, helped WU gain 4,987 total yards during the season. Exceptional blocking led to a team average of 6.0 yards per carry. The Bearcats provided solid pass protection and allowed just nine sacks in 12 games, with just seven sacks in Willamette's 10 regular season games.

"Glen did a good job of utilizing everybody's talents ... the strengths of the players we had," Speckman said. "Everybody was a better version of themselves. The kids were well-trained and really bought into what was being taught."

Two offensive players for the Bearcats received All-America honors from D3Football.com. Woo was named Second Team All-America at wide receiver and offensive lineman Jake Forshey (Sr., Santa Ynez, CA/Santa Ynez Valley Union HS) was named Second Team All-America at offensive tackle.

Fowles was chosen for the FootballScoop.com NCAA Division III Coordinator Coach of the Year Award after being named as one of four finalists at the end of the regular season. Other finalists were John David Caffey, offensive coordinator at Millsaps College (Miss.), Luke Cutkomp, defensive coordinator at Aurora University (Ill.), and Jake Gilbert, defensive coordinator at Wabash College (Ohio).

Offensive Coordinator Glen Fowles guided the WU offense to 415.6 yards per game, as the Bearcats finished the season with an 11-1 record.

Offensive Coordinator Glen Fowles guided the WU offense to 415.6 yards per game, as the Bearcats finished the season with an 11-1 record.

Glen Fowles walks on the field prior to WU's game at Linfield.

Glen Fowles walks on the field prior to WU's game at Linfield.