Kirch Named NAIA Coordinator of the Year

ORANGE CITY, Iowa –After being named a finalist in late December, Northwestern College football defensive coordinatorBilly Kirchhas been named the 2022 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Coordinator of the Year, announced today.

“Billy did an outstanding job leading our defense,” said head coachMatt McCarty. “He is an outstanding teacher and has our defense playing its best football in the postseason.”

Kirch, in his eighth season on staff and seventh as the defensive coordinator at Northwestern, had another stellar season holding opposing offenses at bay all season long. The Red Raiders sat top-5 in three major defensive categories under Kirch including opponent points per game (3rd, 11.5), opponent yards per game (4th, 226.6), and rushing yards allowed per game (5th, 63.6).

He also coached his third Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Defensive Player of the Year inParker Fryar(So., Waukee, Iowa). Additionally, he saw two athletes named All-Americans in Fryar andJaden Snyder(Sr., Larchwood, Iowa), while also having eight total All-Conference performers in the GPAC. Fryar was also a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award, which is given to the best small college defensive player.

After dropping the Week 1 game to Morningside, the Red Raider defense did not surrender more than 10 points to an opponent until the NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) Quarterfinals. It marked 10-straight games allowing opponents to 10 points or less.

Additionally, Northwestern was the lone NAIA program to rank top-5 in rush defense and top-15 in passing defense, holding opponents to just 63.5 yards per game on the ground. The Raiders also sat top-5 in the NAIA in interceptions (20) and defensive touchdowns (4) for the season. prepares for their 15thannual Coaches of the Year honors this season. To be nominated, coaches must be nominated by fellow coaches in the industry. The award was voted on by the past winners.

Kirch joins four fellow GPAC coordinators from Morningside in winning the Coordinator of the Year award. Lucas Lueders (2018), Casey Jacobsen and Nathan Turner (2019), and Andrew Rode (2021).

Kirch will be honored at the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Convention in Charlotte this coming week.


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