Corry Mulligan – Sports Writer |
Samford head football coach Pat Sullivan and 10 Bulldog players were honored Tuesday, Nov. 20 when the Southern Conference released its postseason awards.
Sullivan was named the league’s co-Coach of the Year by the other coaches in the conference.
“I was flattered since the selection came from the coaches,” Sullivan said. “When you have the respect of your peers, that’s always special.”
He shared the honor with The Citadel’s Kevin Higgins, who led his team to a 5-3 record in the SoCon and 7-4 overall.
Sullivan also led his squad to a 5-3 record in SoCon matchups, marking the first time Samford has finished with a winning conference record since joining the league in 2008.
The Bulldogs finished the season 7-4 overall with two wins over ranked opponents, the team’s first since 1994.
Samford also achieved a national ranking for the first time since 1993. The 7-4 mark was Samford’s best in nine seasons.
“Being named co-Coach of the Year, I’m representing our staff and our players,” Sullivan said.
“It wasn’t me, it was the job that they did and basically I’m just their representative.”
Safety Jaquiski Tartt, place-kicker Cameron Yaw, defensive lineman Nicholas Williams and offensive lineman Ryan Dudchock were named to both the coaches’ and the SoCon Sports Media Association’s All-Conference first teams.
Running back Fabian Truss, wide receiver Kelsey Pope and offensive lineman Jacob Kirschenbaum were named to the second team by both the coaches and the Sports Media Association.
Truss made the Sports Media Association All-Conference second team as both a running back and a return specialist.
“It was an honor to make this team, but I don’t think I could have done it without those other 10 guys out there on the field with me,” Truss said.
Truss considers his and other upperclassmen’s embracement of leadership roles this past season a key to the team’s success.
“The younger guys look up to us, and we try to lead by example,” Truss said.
Tartt said seeing his name on the All-Conference team left him speechless.
“After working hard with my teammates through the spring and the summer, it’s just a wonderful feeling and a blessing,” the sophomore geography major said.
Coaches and players alike believe this historically successful season sets a precedent for years to come.
“These players as well as the players before them have set a foundation for us to keep getting better each year, and that will be our goal,” Sullivan said.