Leach previously was named the George Munger College Coach of the Year by the Maxwell Club and the Woody Hayes Coach of the Year by The Touchdown Club of Columbus. Leach led the Red Raiders to an 11-2 record, including a school-record 11 wins during the regular season. The Red Raiders achieved an all-time best national ranking of No. 2 and shared the Big 12 Conference South Division title.
"FieldTurf is one of the leading turf manufacturers in the industry," stated Mel Pulliam, Director of Marketing & Development for the AFCA. "We are pleased to have them as sponsors of our general session which features some of the country's best coaches. We commend FieldTurf for their passion for football and for honouring some of our members with their annual FieldTurf/Howie Long football awards."
"We are extremely proud to be a sponsor of the nation's most prolific association of football coaches," stated FieldTurf Tarkett CEO Joe Fields. "FieldTurf's innovations have been a big part of many AFCA member programs and we look forward to continuing our relationships with the best coaches in football this week in Nashville. The input of the AFCA-member coaches has always been vital for our organization. We are honoured to play a central role at this year's convention."
FieldTurf and Howie Long present the winners of their Football Awards every year at the AFCA. Award winners are named in 19 different categories and are based on tabulated votes from Howie Long and FieldTurf Tarkett executives, which include a group of former NFL stars.
Leach will be in Houston on Thursday night where he and seven other coaches from around the country are finalists the Paul "Bear" Bryant College Football Coach of the Year award. Joining Leach in the finalist list are Mack Brown (Texas), Turner Gill (Buffalo), Houston Nutt (Mississippi), Chris Petersen (Boise State), Nick Saban (Alabama), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma) and Kyle Whittingham (Utah).