ANGOLA, IND. -- Trine University Head Football Coach Troy Abbs has been named the Division III Region 4 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
Abbs was named Regional Coach of the Year for the first time in his career after leading the Thunder football team to a school record-tying 11 victories (11-1 overall) this past season, including the program's third undefeated regular season (10-0) and a fourth Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championship. Trine also made its fourth appearance in the NCAA National Tournament and advanced to the second round.
In three seasons at the helm of the Trine football program, Abbs has posted a 23-9 record (.719 winning percentage).
The AFCA recognizes five regional Coach of the Year winners in each of the Association's five divisions: Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA. The winners are selected by active members of the Association who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions.
The Regional winners in each division are finalists for the National Coach of the Year. The AFCA will announce the 2017 National Coaches of the Year winners in FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA at the American Football Coaches Awards, presented by Amway, broadcast live on the USA TODAY Sports Facebook page on Tuesday, January 9, at 8 p.m. EST.
The AFCA began recognizing district coaches of the year following the 1960 season. The awards were established the same year Eastman Kodak agreed to sponsor the AFCA Coach of the Year award. Prior to 1960, the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain had sponsored the program, which recognized one national Coach of the Year. The AFCA first recognized eight district winners in each of two divisions: university and college. In 1972, a ninth district was added in each division. In 1983, the award was changed to recognize regional winners instead of district winners. The number of divisions was also increased from two to four and five regional winners were selected in each division. This resulted in a more equitable selection process and better represented the make-up of the membership. At the same time, the new system increased the number of honorees from 18 to 20. In 2006, the AFCA Division II Award was split into separate Division II and NAIA divisions, giving the 25 winners now recognized.