DURHAM, N.C. - Duke passing game coordinator Matt Lubick has been named the 2012 Wide Receivers Coach of the Year by FootballScoop, the outlet announced on Saturday.
Now in his third season on the Duke sideline, Lubick coached three receivers - Jamison Crowder, Desmond Scott and Conner Vernon - that form the only trio nationally to have 60-plus pass receptions apiece. Crowder (70 receptions, 1,025 yards, 8 TDs), Scott (61-606-2) and Vernon (75-955-7) have combined for 206 catches for 2,586 yards and 17 touchdowns while helping the Blue Devils to postseason play for the first time since 1994.
"Congratulations to Matt on this honor - he is very deserving," said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. "An assistant coach is so many things. But it starts with mentor. It starts with care and concern that's real. Love, if you will. Matt Lubick exemplifies exactly what it means to be a mentor in every sense of the word. Past that, he coordinates our passing game as well as our recruiting efforts. Matt Lubick - no offense to anyone I've ever worked with - is simply the best recruiter that I've ever worked with.
"The way our receiving unit has performed this season has been incredible," Cutcliffe continued. "He's got two All-ACC selections plus a third with over 60 catches. After the tragedy - we're in the beginning of July and we're a month out from starting - we have to make a decision. Move Desmond Scott from running back to receiver. Can we teach him in that short period of time? Can we get him ready in August? And here we are after 12 games - this former running back has 61 catches as a receiver. He is an accomplished blocker. Matt Lubick's ability to teach releases, his ability to teach the techniques, have been the difference. He's coached both receiver and secondary, and I think Matt uses that expertise every day in his ability to coach receivers. I just don't think I've seen a job accomplished better where your three starters - one has 75 catches, one has 70 catches and one has 61 catches after 12 games. That's unheard of. It's probably the largest number of balanced three receivers of anyone in the country."
Under the tutelage of Lubick, Vernon has become the ACC's all-time leader in both pass receptions (273) and receiving yardage (3,630). In addition, Vernon, who holds or shares 22 school records, has caught at least one pass in 47 consecutive games to establish another ACC standard.
"Coach Lubick is really big on fundamentals and he's crafted my game monumentally from that standpoint," Vernon said. "He's a phenomenal coach and a great teacher, but overall a he's better person than all of that. He's always putting players before him in every situation. He's always looking out for us to make sure we're up to par in school and not just in athletics. He's more of a mentor than a coach. I don't really like to call him a coach because he means a lot more to me than just football."
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Lubick, David Beaty of Texas A&M, Brent Brennan of Oregon State and Shannon Dawson of West Virginia) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Previous winners of the Wide Receivers Coach of the Year award are Bobby Kennedy (Texas, 2008), Zach Azzanni (Central Michigan, 2009), Brent Pease (Boise State, 2010) and Ted Gilmore (USC, 2011).
Lubick will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.