Conference USA is celebrating its 10th anniversary during the 2004-05 season. In conjunction, the league is naming a Team of the Decade for each of the conference's 19 sports. Football is the latest sport to have its All-Decade team released and the squad is led by former Louisville quarterback Dave Ragone, who was named the Player of the Decade. The Football Coach of the Decade award was won by Jeff Bower of Southern Miss, who has coached the Golden Eagles every season of C-USA's existence and has led the Golden Eagles to four regular season championships. Voting on the All-Decade awards was done by a media panel with one representative in each of the league's cities.
Southern Miss, owners of four regular season championships, placed a league-high eight members on the team, followed by Louisville, holders of three titles, with six. Cincinnati and Tulane each placed three players on the squad.
C-USA FOOTBALL ALL-DECADE TEAM
Dave Ragone, QB, Louisville (1999-2002) - PLAYER OF THE DECADE
Three time Conference USA player of the year (2000, 2001, 2002)….Three time member of the All-Conference USA first team…voted honorable mention All-American by Football News in 2000….Led the Cardinals to back –to-back Conference USA titles in 2000 and 2001.…Finished his career with 8,596 passing yards, 685 completions, 1,180 attempts, and a 0.581 completion percentage….Owns the Cardinal record for lowest interception percentage in a season (0.025).
Jason Fabini, OL, Cincinnati (1995-97)
Was a three-time All-Conference USA first team selection during the league's first three seasons….Fabini became a starter in the second game of his freshman season, inheriting the right tackle position quickly due to the injury of the incumbent, and started all but one game the remainder of his career….Selected in the fourth round of the 1998 NFL draft by the Jets, he has been a mainstay at left tackle since, twice earning all-pro honors.
Ketric Sanford, RB, Houston (1996-99)
Finished his UH career with a school and Conference USA record (since broken) 3,626 yards and 28 touchdowns rushing….A first team All-Conference USA selection in 1999 and a two-time, second-team selection (1996 & 1998)….Was named the 1996 Conference USA Freshman of the Year when he rushed for 747 yards and seven touchdowns in helping the Cougars to the league championship….A two-time, honorable mention All-America….Finished with a UH record 5,817 all-purpose yards, which also was a C-USA record at one time.
Ibn Green, TE, Louisville (1996-1999)
Named first team All-American in 1999 by the American Football Coaches Association and second team All-American by Football News and Sporting News…Named second team All-American by sporting News and Footballs News in 1998 and third team All-American by the Sporting News…all-time NCAA record holder in receptions by a tight end with 217.…Three time member of the All-Conference USA first team.…Holds conference and school touchdown reception records with 33 TD grabs.…Fourth in conference career reception catches with 217….Fifth all-time in conference receiving yardage, recording 2,830 yards.
Arnold Jackson, WR, Louisville (1997-2000)
Finished his career as the NCAA's all-time record holder for receptions (300)…A three time All-Conference USA selection….Holds the league record for career receiving yards with 3,670….Jackson's 4,915 career all-purpose yards rank third in league history….School-record fifteen career 100 yard receiving games….Caught 101 passes in 1999 season to set school record while registering 1,209 receiving yards…holds top two school totals for receptions in a season
Chris Redman, QB, Louisville (1996-1999)
Conference USA career leader in passing attempts (1,679), completions (1,031), passing yards (12,541), and passing TDs (84)…second in C-USA career completion percentage with 61.4%.…Two-time all C-USA selection….1999 C-USA Offensive Player of the Year….Voted honorable mention All-American by Football News in 1999….23 career 300-yard passing games….Threw for 592 yards against ECU 11/14/98…Holds 11 of 15 single game passing records, 13 of 17 single season passing records, and seven-of-eight career passing records at the University of Louisville.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis (2002-present)
2003 C-USA Offensive Player of the Year…Named C-USA Player of the Week four times in his three-year career….Received C-USA All-Freshman team honors in 2002…In 2004 vs. USF, broke the school record for yards in a game with 263 yards….In the 2004 game against Houston, he set a new career standard in rushing, and currently totals 3,942 yards, which now tops C-USA's all-time list…Has rushed for more than 100 yards in 23 career games, including 13 straight contests between 2003 and 2004… Already holds the all-time career records in yardage, most 100-yard games, and attempts.
Derrick Nix, RB, Southern Miss (1998-00, 02)
Three-time All C-USA performer (1998, 1999, 2002)….First running back in C-USA to have 1,000 yard seasons three times….Finished second in C-USA career rushing with 3,584 yards, 53 yards short of breaking record….Health problems forced him to miss half of junior season and games in senior season….Second on career rushing touchdown list with 30….Finished with 192 points, top 10 in C-USA ….Led the league in rushing (1998).…Helped lead Southern Miss to a undefeated conference season (1999), conference championship and Liberty Bowl Championship….4,005 all-purpose yards, Top 5 in C-USA history.
Sherrod Gideon, WR, Southern Miss (1996-99)
Three-time All C-USA Performer (1997, 98, 99)….Helped lead Southern Miss to three conference titles (1996, 97, 99), two undefeated conference seasons, two Liberty Bowl victories, three bowl appearances and 19 weeks in the national rankings.…Finished No. 1 in C-USA history in receiving yards (3,115), No. 4 in catches (193), No. 3 in touchdowns receiving (30), No. 4 in scoring (184) and No. 3 in most touchdowns (30)….12 100-yard receiving games in his career….3,884 all-purpose yards, Top 10 in C-USA history.
Shaun King, QB, Tulane (1995-98)
Led Tulane to a 12-0 record, C-USA's only undefeated season, in 1998…Two-time C-USA Offensive Player of the Year (1997, 1998) and All C-USA those years.…Upon graduation King owned nearly all of the Green Wave's passing and total offense records…His senior year he set the NCAA I-A record for passing efficiency with a rating of 183.32….Still ranks as Tulane's all-time leader in all total offense and TD responsibility categories and is statistically among the Top Three in passing. Other records include most 200-yard passing games in a season (11) and longest completion (94 yards)…Second round draft choice of Tampa Bay in 1999.
Mewelde Moore, RB, Tulane (2000-03)
Set C-USA all-time marks for rushing and all-purpose yards.…set 24 school and seven league records during four years as a starter….Ranked 11th on the NCAA I-A career all-purpose list with 6,505 yards….Became just the second player in Division I-A history to record 4,000 rushing and 2,000 receiving yards in his career….Awards include: 2002 and 2003 Doak Walker Award candidate; 2000 Football News Freshman All-American and C-USA Freshman of the Year; 4-time 1st team All-Louisiana selection.
Antwan Peek, DE, Cincinnati (1998, 2000-02)
Excelled as a defensive end and pass rusher. First team All-C-USA in 2001 and 2002….Cincinnati's all-time leader in tackles for loss (56) and sacks (27) and tied for second in fumble recoveries (10)….Ranks third in C-USA in TFLs.…Earned C-USA Player of the Week honors three times, once as a specialist for blocking kicks….Taken in the third round of the 2003 NFL draft by Houston and earned all-rookie honors.
Pernell Griffin, LB, East Carolina (1998-2001)
A three-time First-Team All-Conference USA selection (1999, 2000, 2001)....A Freshman All-America honoree in 1998.…Led East Carolina in total tackles for three consecutive seasons....Ranks second on C-USA all-time tackles list and third at ECU with 460.
Tyrus McCloud, LB, Louisville (1995-1996)
Named second team All-American by The Sporting News in 1995, and third team All-American by the Associated Press that same year...Two-time first team All-Conference selection…Two-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Year in 1995 and 1996…Seventh on Cardinals all-time list for career tackles with 405…Third on U of L career list for tackles for loss with 36.
Dewayne White, DE, Louisville (2000-2002)
Named second team All-American by football news.com and third team All-American by the Sporting News and Football News…Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2001.…All-Conference first team in 2000 and 2001….Conference USA career leader in sacks with 37.5….First team Conference USA All-Freshman Team selection in 2000….Tied single season conference sack record in 2001 with 15.
Michael Boley, LB, Southern Miss (2001-present)
2003 All-American….Two-time first-team all-conference (2002, 03).….2004 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year….2003 collegefootballnews.com's conference defensive player of the year….2004 Butkus, Bednarik and Lott Trophy semifinalist….Helped lead Southern Miss to undefeated conference season (2003) and championship (2003) and two bowl appearances….19 double-figure tackle games….Nationally ranked in tackles, solo tackles and forced fumbles.… 380 tackles, 49.5 TFLs, 24 sacks, 13 PBU, 7FF, 6 FR.
Rod Davis, LB, Southern Miss (2000-03)
Three-time All-American….2003 Playboy All-American.….2003 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year….Conerly Trophy winner (best in MS)….Three-time First-Team All-C-USA (2001,02,03)….Two-time Butkus Award semifinalist….Helped lead USM to C-USA title (2003), undefeated conference season (2003), three bowl appearances (2000, 02,03)….National career record of 526 total tackles and 360 solo tackles….60.5 TFLs (C-USA record), 18.5 sacks, 6 Interceptions, 18 PBUs, 7 FF and 9 FR….32 double-figure tackle games.
Patrick Surtain, Southern Miss (1996-97)
1997 AP, Football News & Sporting News All-American….1997 Conference Defensive Player of The Year….Two-time first-team All-Conference (1996 & 1997)….Helped lead USM to championships (1996 &1997), perfect conference season (6-0) and Liberty Bowl championship (1997)….16 career interceptions (212 yards)….Led C-USA in interceptions (1997)….Set the school career pass breakup record (31)….Second round draft choice (Miami Dolphins)….Tied the conference record for interceptions in a game and season.
Adalius Thomas, DE, Southern Miss (1996-99)
Two-time All-American (AP/Sporting News/Football News/AFCA)….Only two-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Year (1998-99) … Three-time first-team All C-USA (1997-99)….Helped lead Southern Miss to three C-USA titles (1996, 97, 99), two undefeated C-USA seasons (1997, 99), three bowl appearances, two wins (1997, 98, 99), 19 weeks in the national rankings.…Finished with 34.5 sacks and 56 tackles for loss, both top five in C-USA history….1999 Liberty Bowl MVP… Teams were nationally ranked in the top 25 all four years in scoring defense and rushing defense.
Bo Schobel, DE, TCU (2001-2003)
2003 second team Associated Press All-American who earned first team all-Conference USA honors in both 2002 and 2003.…Named the 2003 Conference USA Player of the Year by The Sporting News.…One of six finalist for the Hendricks Award and was a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award as a senior….Led C-USA in sacks and in tackles for loss as a senior….TCU led the nation in run defense and in total defense in 2002….Selected by Tennessee in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft….TCU won 37 games during his career, including 27 in three seasons in C-USA.
Bryan Thomas, DE, UAB (1998-01)
One of C-USA's best-ever defensive linemen.…Earned 1st Team All-Conference USA honors in 2001 and was a second-team selection in 2000.…Became UAB's first NFL first round draft pick in 2002 when he was selected No. 22 overall by the New York Jets.…Named 2nd Team All-American in 2001 by College Football News.…No. 2 all-time in C-USA in sacks with 36 and No. 3 all-time in the league in tackles for loss (56).…Part of UAB's "Steel Shield" defense that led the country in rushing defense (57.3 yds. per game) in 2001 and was No. 5 in total defense (265.9).
Jonathan Ruffin, K, Cincinnati (1999-02)
Lou Groza Award winner as the nation¹s top kicker in 2000 and consensus All-American choice. C-USA Special Teams Player of the Year in 2000 who set league season records for FGs (26) and FGAs (29). His 26 FGs marked the sixth-highest total in NCAA history. C-USA's No. 2 career scorer with 316 points; ranks third in FGAs (79), third in FGs (62) and FG percentage (.785).
Eric Booth, KR, Southern Miss (1994-97)
Two-time All C-USA (1996 & 1997)….Led the nation in 1997 in kickoff returns, averaging 34.8 yards per return and scored two touchdowns….No. 4 in the nation in 1996 as a junior, averaging 29.3 yards per return.…Finished as the No. 2 kickoff career kickoff returner in NCAA history, averaging 32.4 yards over his career (35 returns/1,135 yards)….Led the conference in 1996 & 1997 in kickoff returns….Helped lead Southern Miss to two Conference USA championships, undefeated season (1997) and a Liberty Bowl championship.
John Eubanks, KR, Southern Miss (2002-04)
2003 All-American….First-team All-Conference USA (2003)….All-Freshman (2002)….Leads Conference USA and No. 2 in the nation in kickoff returns (2004)….Averaging 32.4 yards per return with a long return of 97 yards for a touchdown (2004)….Had a 94-yard touchdown return in 2003….No. 2 in Conference USA and No. 4 in the nation in kickoff returns (2003), averaging 29.4 yards per return….Averaged 23.9 yards per return as a freshman and was No. 30 in the nation.
Nick Browne, K, TCU (2001-03)
Named first team All-America by the Football Writers Association of America and the Walter Camp Foundation and second team All-America by The Sporting News, the Football Foundation and the Associated Press as a senior.…Was a two-time first team All-C-USA selection and was the 2003 Special Teams Player of the Year.…Was also a two-time first team CoSIDA Academic All-American... named the C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week a record five times as a senior and nine times in his career.…Selected as Playboy's 2003 Anson Mount Scholar/Athlete of the Year.
Seth Marler, K, Tulane (1999-02)
In 2001, Marler became Tulane's first 1st team All-American in 14 years while also winning the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker after making 15-of-16 field goals that season….Completed his Green Wave career as Tulane and Conference USA all-time scoring leader with 333 points and is the school and league all-time leader in field goals (66-of-91)….Earned the 2001 C-USA Special Teams Player of the Year Award and was an All-Conference USA choice in 1999 (2nd), 2001 and 2002 (2nd).
C-USA FOOTBALL COACH OF THE DECADE
Jeff Bower, Southern Miss (1991 – present)
Led Southern Miss to an unprecedented four Conference USA titles (1996, 97, 99, 2003)….Three undefeated Conference USA seasons (1997, 99, 2003).…Dean of the Conference USA coaches as the only coach to be in the league from the first year until present….Unprecedented three-time Conference USA Coach of the Year….Since 1996, has posted the top Conference USA overall record (69-37) and (43-14) conference record….Southern Miss was ranked in the top 25 for 35 weeks since the Golden Eagles have been members of Conference USA.
C-USA Footall All-Decade Team
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