WACO, Texas – The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) has announced the Ursinus College associate football coach and defensive coordinator Chris Rusiewicz has been named as the Assistant Coach of the Year by the organization.
Each year, staff representatives from NCAA and NAIA football-playing schools are asked to nominate an assistant for consideration. From those nominations, a winner is selected by the AFCA Public Relations Committee. The winners of this award were selected from Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and the NAIA.
The Assistant Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1997 and was created to honor
assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, onfield
coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement.
"Once again, five outstanding assistant coaches have been selected for their dedication, not
only to their teams, but to their communities," said AFCA Executive Director Grant Teaff. "Often
times, the head coach receives much of the credit for his team's success, but 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."
The criteria for the award is not limited to on-field coaching ability or the success of the
team and players that these assistant coaches work with. Service to the community through
charitable work and other volunteer activities, participation in AFCA activities and events,
participation in other professional organizations and impact on student-athletes are all taken
into account in the selection process.
Winners of the Assistant Coach of the Year Award will receive a plaque to commemorate the
award and an educational stipend to attend the 2012 AFCA Convention or another professional
development clinic/convention of their choice. They will be honored at the AstroTurf
President's Kickoff Luncheon, Monday, January 10 at the 2011 AFCA Convention in Dallas,Texas.
Rusiewicz joins Luke Fickell, from Ohio State University; Rick Fox from Drake University; Joe Lorig from Central Washington University Doug Schleeman, from Montana Tech as award winners.
"This is a really great honor for Chris," said Ursinus head football coach Peter Gallagher. "He has done an outstanding job with our kids and helped us elevate our program to where it is today."
Rusiewicz has spent the last nine years on the staff at Ursinus. He implemented the Christmas Adopt-A-Family program at Ursinus where the football team raises approximately $1,500 to put towards three local families in need for Christmas.
Rusiewicz coordinates an on-campus National Marrow Donor Program through Temple Hospital
in Philadelphia where the football team recruits marrow donors from campus and the surrounding communities. He also leads volunteer efforts for the football team with the Big Brothers program and Habitat for Humanity .
Rusiewicz is an active member of the AFCA and serves on the Registration Committee. He developed and implements an Academic Support System at Ursinus where players are encouraged to ask for help and know help is available. Each player is also monitored in all phases of academics, such as class attendance and assignment scores.
Rusiewicz also developed an off-season team leadership program which allows players to mentor, lead and hold each other accountable in five major categories to make each other a better person. The five categories are academics, social, football (off-field), football (on-field) and team competitions. He has coached four All-Americans and 33 all-conference players.
Ursinus finished the season with a record of 8-2, sharing the Centennial title with Johns Hopkins and Muhlenberg.