Dec. 13, 2010
STANFORD, Calif.-- Stanford's Vic Fangio was named Footballscoop.com's Defensive Coordinator of the Year.
In one year, the Stanford defense has had a remarkable turnaround in helping the 11-1 Cardinal to the January 3 Discover Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech.
"He has an impressive knowledge of the game and he's able to teach that,” head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters during his weekly press conferences this season. “He's organized and it's a belief our players have bought into. There's an identity forming. You can see it in their confidence and execution... He is one of the top coaches out there in all of football. I'm learning a lot of football from him."
Fangio, along with fellow defensive coaches Randy Hart and Derek Mason have coached the Cardinal defenders into posting three shutouts this season, the most since 1969, while allowing just 17.8 points per game--11th best in the nation. That mark also leads the Pac-10.
"It was almost like he's an evil genius," Stanford's leading tackler Shayne Skov told the Palo Alto Weekly. "He has the maniacal voice. It seemed fitting at the time. It fits his personality with all the havoc he was wreaking during camp."
Overall the defense has allowed just 325 yards per game, 24th-best in the nation and are 31st nationally in third down defense, with opponents managing a first down just 36 percent of the time. Against Washington, the Cardinal allowed just 107 yards in Seattle, the second-fewest in school-history.
According to Footballscoop, Stanford's defense allowed just 23 plays over 30 yards, which ranked 11th nationally.
“The really good teachers can make the very complex look simple,” told Harbaugh to the San Jose Mercury News. “Right away they started grasping it. Apparent from the earliest in spring ball they got answers. Whatever we do offensively they have an answer defensively. And then they start presenting problems and issues. “
Fangio was also named Rivals.com Defensive Coordinator of the Year, announced earlier this month.
Other finalists included: Dick Bumpas of TCU, Jeff Casteel of West Virginia and Jim Heacock of Ohio State. Previous winners of the Defensive Coordinator of the Year award are Nick Holt (USC, 2008) and Kirby Smart (Alabama, 2009).