WACO, Texas – Baylor head football coach Dave Aranda has been selected as the George Munger Coach of the Year, as announced Wednesday by the Maxwell Football Club.
Aranda is coming off a year where he led the Bears to a school-record twelve wins culminating in a 21-7 Sugar Bowl victory over Ole Miss. It was the first New Year’s Day bowl win for Baylor since 1956. As a result, Baylor earned its highest final ranking in program history by finishing fifth in the AP Poll and sixth in the Coaches Poll.
After being picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 preseason media poll, Aranda tied with Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh for the best turnaround in college football – boasting a ten-win improvement from 2020.
The turnaround was spurred by playing complimentary football, spearheaded by a defense that held every opponent to 30 points or fewer – one of just three teams in the country to accomplish this. At the direction of Aranda and defensive coordinator Ron Roberts, the defense punctuated its dominant season with a Sugar Bowl-record ten sacks. On average, the Baylor defense held opponents 13.16 points per game below their season average.
Under the guidance of Aranda and first-year offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes, Baylor’s offense ranked tenth nationally, with 5.37 yards per rush. Baylor increased its rushing production by 142 percent from 2020 – raising its rushing average from 90.3 yards per game (123rd nationally) to 219.3 yards per game (tenth nationally).
In 2021, Baylor had seven players named to the All-Big 12 first- and second-teams, including four individual award winners in Jalen Pitre (Defensive Player of the Year), Trestan Ebner (Special Teams Player of the Year), Connor Galvin (Offensive Lineman of the Year) and Siaki Ika (Defensive Newcomer of the Year). Additionally, Pitre was one of three finalists for the 2021 Jim Thorpe Award, honoring the nation’s top defensive back.
Three different Bears earned a total of seven All-America honors from the five publications which make up the NCAA’s consensus teams, highlighted by Pitre’s four first-team accolades and one second-team recognition. Jacob Gall (second-team) and Galvin (third-team) were also recognized.
Aranda is the first Baylor head coach to win the George Munger Coach of The Year award. He will be honored at the 85th Maxwell Football Club National Awards Gala on Friday, March 18, 2022, held at the Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Tickets for the Maxwell Football Club National Awards Gala are available for purchase on the Club’s website, https://maxwellfootballclub.org/purchase-tickets/, or by calling 215-643-3833.
Source: Baylor Athletics