Ron Aiken Named Assistant Coach Of The Year

IOWA CITY, IA – The University of Iowa's Ron Aiken has been named NCAA Division I Assistant Football Coach of the Year. The announcement was made today by the The American Football Coaches Association of America. It's the first time an Iowa coach has been selected for this prestigious honor.

Ron is one of five winners named in the different divisions of college football. The honorees were selected for their dedication to their teams and communities. The winners for this award were selected in NCAA Divisions I-A, I-AA, II, III and the NAIA.

Aiken came to Iowa as part of Head Coach Kirk Ferentz' original staff in 1999. He has served as Iowa's defensive line coach. Under Aiken's leadership, the Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten in rushing defense, allowing only 68 yards a game. Ron and his wife Sheryl have three sons.

Aiken has been very involved in the Iowa City community and the AFCA. He is a frequent speaker at Athletes in Action and at Fellowship of Christian Athlete functions. He has been a volunteer reader at local public schools and speaks at the men's breakfast at his local church. During the summer he works as assistant coach of his son's baseball team. Aiken has been very active with the AFCA during his career. He is currently on the assistant football coaches committee as the Big Ten Representative and is co-chairman of the Coach of the Year Committee.

The 2002 assistant coach honorees are: Div. I-A -- Ron Aiken, Def. Line, University of Iowa Div. I-AA -- Roy Wittke, Assistant Head Coach, Eastern Illinois University Div. II -- Tony Ierulli, Def. Coordinator, Shippensburg University Div. III -- Brian Ward, Def. Backs, Wabash College NAIA -- Charles Gartenmayer, Def. Coordinator, Benedictine College (Kan.).

"Once again, five outstanding assistant coaches have been selected for their dedication, not only to their teams, but to their communities," said Executive Director Grant Teaff. "Often times the head coach receives much of the credit for his team's success. Any head coach is only as good as his assistants. Much of an assistant coach's work is done behind the scenes. It is our pleasure to bring it to the forefront."

Winners of the Assistant Coach of the Year award will receive a plaque to commemorate the award and an educational stipend to the 2004 AFCA Convention or any other professional development clinic/convention of their choice. They will be honored at the AFCA Kickoff Luncheon, Monday, January 6 at the 2003 AFCA Convention in New Orleans, La.

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