WACO, Texas – Duke’s Jeff Faris has been named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FBS Assistant Coach of the Year, according to an announcement by the organization Tuesday.
The AFCA selected one assistant coach from each of the five divisions of college football for his dedication to his teams and communities. Each year, staff representatives from NCAA and NAIA football-playing schools are asked to nominate an assistant for consideration. From those nominations, the winners are selected by the AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year Committee.
The Assistant Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1997 and was created to honor assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement. Faris, Duke’s Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator [Offense]/Tight Ends, joins Mike MacIntyre in 2009 as the only Blue Devils to win the award.
Faris joined the Duke staff in July of 2012, serving as a graduate assistant coach for the 2012 and 2013 seasons before being promoted to assistant coach in March of 2014. He coached Duke’s wide receivers from 2014-17 prior to transitioning to the tight ends while adding recruiting coordinator duties following the 2017 season.
This season, Duke’s three primary tight ends of redshirt senior Daniel Helm, redshirt senior Davis Koppenhaver and sophomore Noah Gray have combined for 54 receptions for 587 yards and nine touchdowns. Earlier this season, Koppenhaver set the Blue Devil career record for touchdown receptions by a tight end with 11. Helm is a third team All-ACC selection who caught the game-winning touchdown pass at Miami. Gray hauled in four passes for 41 yards against North Carolina in helping Duke keep the Victory Bell in Durham for the third consecutive season.
Faris graduated from Duke in 2011 with a degree in economics. In 2009, he earned the Mike Suglia Award, an honor presented annually to the sophomore member of the Duke football program who best exemplifies the academic and athletic qualities of the late Mike Suglia.
In 2011, Faris received the Micah Harris Trinity Teammate Award which is presented each season to a Duke player who displays the traits of a true teammate — character, unselfishness, compassion and pride. In the spring of 2011, Faris was honored by the ACC with a Top 6 For Service award.
Faris, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., earned a master’s degree in economics from Duke in 2012 and a master’s degree in Christian studies in 2013.
The other 2018 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year honorees are Milo Austin of Morehead State University (FCS), Marcus Hilliard of Virginia Union University (Division II), Mickey Rehring of Johns Hopkins University (Division III) and Phil Kleckler of Lindsey Wilson College (NAIA).