J.T. Smith named SFC Assisant Coach of the Year
Wednesday August 12, 2009
CHICAGO – Iowa Barnstormers’ Defensive Coordinator J.T. SMITH has been named the SFC Assistant Coach of the Year, as selected by a vote of arenafootball2 head coaches and media members. Smith helped propel the Barnstormers to the Midwest Division title this season with a 12-4 record before bowing out of the 2009 af2 playoffs in the Semifinal Round by division rival Green Bay.
As the defensive coordinator, Smith saw his men make an impression across the league. The Barnstormers led the af2 in fumble recoveries (23) and tied for the league lead in fumble return TDs (7). Iowa’s defensive unit also ranked among the league’s Top-10 in rushing defense (2nd – 12.1 yards per game), turnovers forced (3rd – 48), sacks (4th – 30), scoring defense (6th – 48.4 points per game) and interceptions (T6th – 25).
The Barnstormers defense was also among the stingiest in the af2 on third down and fourth down. Iowa allowed its opponents to convert on just 35.8 percent of third down attempts (3rd overall) and 28.6 percent of fourth down attempts (2nd overall).
One of Smith’s defensive players, DB TANNER VARNER, earned individual league recognition last week by being named to the American Conference All-af2 Second Team. Varner tallied a league-high 119.5 tackles in 2009. He also recorded team-high marks with 19 pass breakups and eight interceptions.
This is not the first time Smith has worked with Barnstormers head coach JOHN GREGORY. The two coaches have been working together on and off since the early 1990s when they first combined forces with the AFL’s Iowa Barnstormers. Smith joined Gregory with the Arkansas Twisters in 2005 after Gregory was lured out of retirement. The pair took the reins of Iowa’s af2 entry in 2008.
The 2009 af2 playoffs continue this weekend with the American and National Conference Championship games on Saturday, August 15. The American Conference Championship will feature the No. 6 seed Green Bay Blizzard visiting the No. 1 seed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers at 7:00 p.m. ET. In the National Conference Championship, the West Division and No. 1 seed Spokane Shock host the No. 2 seed Tulsa Talons at 10:00 p.m. ET. The winner of each Conference Championship will meet in the 2009 ArenaCup title game on August 22.
Tickets to the 2009 ArenaCup in Las Vegas are available by visiting www.orleansarena.com, all Coast Casinos box offices, The Galleria at Sunset or by calling 800-675-3267 and mention code: ARENACUP.
About SFC USA, Inc.
SFC USA, Inc. (Supplier For Champions), a 36-year old uniform and apparel company based in Southern Nevada, is the only apparel company in the nation that can supply 1-day screen printing, 3-day embroidery and 7-day customized uniforms. As the winner of the 2003 Golden Triangle Award, SFC USA, Inc. provides quality apparel with unmatched service to ensure that its customers are completely satisfied.
Remaining 2009 af2 Award Announcements:
The Big Game Playmaker of the Year – Thursday, Aug. 13
Aaron’s Defensive Player of the Year – Friday, Aug. 14
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Year – Tuesday, Aug. 18
JLS Ironman of the Year – Wednesday, Aug. 19