WACO, Texas --- Moravian College Head Football Coach Jeff Pukszyn '97 has been selected as the American Football Coaches Association Division III Region 2 Coach of the Year after Pukszyn led the Greyhounds to an 8-3 record this fall and a berth in the Inaugural Centennial Conference-Middle Atlantic Conference Bowl Series.
"We are extremely proud of Coach Pukszyn and his coaching staff, and congratulate him for being named the AFCA Division III Region 2 Coach of the Year," stated Director of Athletics and Recreation George Bright. "Jeff is an inspirational professional and an exemplary individual who continues to raise the bar by implementing a championship culture for Moravian football. The best is yet to come."
The AFCA first began recognizing district coaches of the year following the 1960 season, and the AFCA now recognizes five regional Coach of the Year winners in each of the Association's five divisions: Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA. The winners are selected by Active members of the Association who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions.
The 2015 Regional Coach of the Year winners will be recognized during the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner at the 2016 AFCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas. The dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, January 12.
In Division III, Region 2 is made up of the teams in the Centennial Conference, the Middle Atlantic Conference, the New Jersey Athletic Conference and the Presidents' Athletic Conference. Pukszyn is the first Moravian football coach to be recognized by the AFCA as a Regional Coach of the Year, and he is just the third coach from the Centennial Conference to be honored since 2005.
"This is obviously a great honor to be awarded the AFCA Region Coach of the Year," commented Pukszyn. "I couldn't have done it without a great coaching staff of phenomenal teachers, and the players this year were a very special group. They all put in a lot of hard work starting last January and during spring ball in April, and that work ethic continued through the workouts the players did on their own in the offseason over the summer and into preseason camp, practice and game days throughout the entire fall. We talk about team wins, and this is really a team award. I couldn't do it without all of the people that surrounded the Greyhound football family this year.
"I'm really excited to receive this honor for President Bryon Grigsby and for Moravian College. To be part of this program as a player, as a defensive coordinator for Scot Dapp and now as the head coach, I couldn't be more humbled by this award," Pukszyn finished.
This past fall, Pukszyn led Moravian to an 8-3 overall record including just the second 8-1 start in the 91-year history of the program. Pukszyn has led a resurgence of the Greyhounds' program in his five seasons as head coach. Moravian had three straight 2-8 seasons to begin Pukszyn's coaching career before a 5-5 campaign in 2014 and this year's 8-3 mark.
Since becoming Moravian's head coach, Pukszyn has coached one All-American, 27 All-Centennial Conference players including 11 in 2015 and four D3football.com All-South Region players with one in 2015 on the field, and 37 Centennial Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll student-athletes and 24 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society players off the field.
Pukszyn joined the Moravian staff as a part-time coach in 1997 after a three-year playing career that saw him named to the All-Middle Atlantic Conference First Team in 1994 and 1996. He was also a two-time team captain. Pukszyn joined the coaching staff full-time in 1999 as defensive coordinator and added the titles of assistant head coach in 2001 and special teams coordinator in 2007 before taking the head coaching position on July 1, 2011. He has been a part of 226 games for Moravian since 1994 with a 112 victories.
To view the full release from the AFCA announcing the 2015 Regional Coach of the Year winners, visit http://www.afca.com/article/article.php?id=2712.