October 20, 2011 - United Football League (UFL)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - In advance of Friday's two postseason games, the United Football League today has announced its 2011 award winners.
Marty Schottenheimer of the Virginia Destroyers is the 2011 UFL Coach of the Year after leading the first-year franchise to a 3-1 record and a spot in the UFL Championship Game. The UFL's leading rusher and all-time touchdown leader, Destroyers running back Dominic Rhodes, is the 2011 UFL Offensive Player of the Year, Omaha Nighthawks safety Stuart Schweigert, one of the UFL's top tacklers and interceptors, is the 2011 UFL Defensive Player of the Year and Sacramento Mountain Lions return dynamo Aaron Woods, the UFL's top kickoff returner, is the 2011 UFL Special Teams Player of the Year.
Schottenheimer guided the Destroyers to a spot in the title game in both his and their first UFL season. Virginia won its first three games of the season, and went 2-0 at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. The sixth-winningest Head Coach in National Football League history, Schottenheimer now has earned Coach of the Year honors in two different leagues, having previously done so in the NFL in 2004 by numerous organizations while he was with the San Diego Chargers and by Football Digest in 1997 when Schottenheimer was guiding the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rhodes led the UFL in rushing for a second year in a row in 2011, gaining 410 yards and averaging 5.2 yards per carry in four games. Rhodes also paced the league in carries (79), rushing touchdowns (six), overall touchdowns (six), yards from scrimmage (502) and all-purpose yards (502). Rhodes, whose 16 touchdowns is a UFL all-time high, also led the Destroyers with 13 catches.
Schweigert tied for second in the league with 31 total tackles (19 solo, 12 assists) in 2011, and was third in the UFL in interceptions with two. He was Omaha's tackle leader, and added a fumble recovery and a half-tackle for loss in his second UFL season. Schweigert was the UFL Week 3 Defensive Player of the Week following a seven-tackle, one-interception, one fumble-recovery effort at Sacramento.
Woods set the UFL record for longest kickoff return (47 yards) this season, and now has the league standard for longest play on a kickoff return and punt return (60 yards). He led the league with his 23.6-yard kickoff-return average, as well as pacing the circuit with 16 returns and 378 yards. His 459 all-purpose yards were second in the league behind Rhodes.
The 2011 UFL Championship Game will be Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern between the Destroyers (3-1) and the Las Vegas Locomotives (3-1) at the Sportsplex. A consolation game between the Nighthawks (1-3) and the Mountain Lions (1-3) will be Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. Central) at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.
UFL COACHES OF THE YEAR
2009 - Jim Haslett, Florida Tuskers
2010 - Jim Fassel, Las Vegas Locomotives
2011 - Marty Schottenheimer, Virginia Destroyers
UFL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
2009 - Brooks Bollinger, QB, Florida Tuskers (League MVP)
2010 - Cory Ross, RB, Sacramento Mountain Lions (offense), Isaiah Trufant, CB, Las Vegas Locomotives (defense) and Nick Novak, K, Florida Tuskers (special teams)
2011 - Dominic Rhodes, RB, Virginia Destroyers (offense), Stuart Schweigert, S, Omaha Nighthawks (defense) and Aaron Woods, RS, Sacramento Mountain Lions (special teams)