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The American Athletic Conference (The American) gives five football awards at the conclusion of every season. The awards were first given in 2013, following the restructuring of the Big East Conference. The awards existed in the same format in the Big East from 1991 to 2012.

The five awards include Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Coach of the Year. Recipients are selected by the votes of the conference's head coaches.[1]

Offensive Player of the Year

The Offensive Player of the Year is awarded to the player voted most outstanding at an offensive position.

Winners

* Unanimous selection
Co-Player of the Year
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has been selected
Positions key
QB Quarterback RB Running back TE Tight end WR Wide receiver
Class key
Fr Freshman So Sophomore Jr Junior Sr Senior
Season Player School Position Class
2013 Blake Bortles UCF QB Jr
2014 Shane Carden[2] East Carolina QB Sr
2015 Keenan Reynolds[3] Navy QB Sr
2016 Quinton Flowers[4] USF QB Jr
2017 McKenzie Milton[5] UCF QB So
2018 McKenzie Milton (2)[6] UCF QB Jr
2019 Malcolm Perry [7] Navy QB Sr
2020 Desmond Ridder [8] Cincinnati QB Jr
2021 Desmond Ridder (2) [9] Cincinnati QB Sr

Winners by school

School (First season) Winners Years
UCF (2013) 3 2013, 2017, 2018
Cincinnati (2013) 2 2020, 2021
Navy (2015) 2 2015, 2019
USF (2013) 1 2016
East Carolina (2014) 1 2014

Defensive Player of the Year

The Defensive Player of the Year is awarded to the player voted most outstanding at a defensive position.

Winners

* Unanimous selection
Co-Player of the Year
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has been selected
Positions key
DE Defensive end DT Defensive tackle LB Linebacker S Safety
Class key
Fr Freshman So Sophomore Jr Junior Sr Senior
Season Player School Position Class
2013 Marcus Smith Louisville DE Sr
2014 Jacoby Glenn[2] UCF CB So
2014 Tank Jakes[2] Memphis LB Sr
2015 Tyler Matakevich[3] Temple LB Sr
2016 Shaquem Griffin[4] UCF LB Jr
2017 Ed Oliver[5] Houston DT So
2018 Nate Harvey[6] East Carolina DE Sr
2019 Quincy Roche[7] Temple DE Jr
2020* Zaven Collins[8] Tulsa LB Jr
2021* Sauce Gardner[9] Cincinnati CB Jr

Winners by school

School (First season) Winners Years
Temple (2013) 2 2015, 2019
UCF (2013) 2 2014, 2016
Cincinnati (2013) 1 2021
Tulsa (2014) 1 2020
East Carolina (2014) 1 2018
Houston (2013) 1 2017
Memphis (2013) 1 2014
Louisville (2013) 1 2013

Special Teams Player of the Year

The Special Teams Player of the Year award is given to the player voted best on special teams. The recipient can either be a placekicker, punter, returner, or a position known as a gunner.

Winners

* Unanimous selection
Co-Player of the Year
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has been selected
Positions key
K Placekicker KR Kick returner P Punter PR Punt returner RS Return specialist
Class key
Fr Freshman So Sophomore Jr Junior Sr Senior
Season Player School Position Class
2013 Demarcus Ayers Houston RS Fr
2013 Tom Hornsey Memphis P Sr
2014 Jake Elliott[2] Memphis K So
2015 Jake Elliott (2)[3] Memphis K Jr
2016 Tony Pollard[4] Memphis KR Fr
2017 Tony Pollard (2)[5] Memphis KR So
2018 Isaiah Wright[6] Temple RS Jr
2019 Dane Roy[7] Houston P Sr
2019 Antonio Gibson[7] Memphis RS Sr
2020 Chris Naggar[8] SMU K Sr
2021 Marcus Jones[9] Houston RS Sr

Winners by school

School (First season) Winners Years
Memphis (2013) 6 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019
Houston (2013) 3 2013, 2019, 2021
SMU (2013) 1 2020
Temple (2013) 1 2018

Rookie of the Year

The Rookie of the Year award is given to the conference's best freshman.

Winners

* Unanimous selection
Co-Player of the Year
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has been selected
Positions key
DE Defensive end LB Linebacker OT Offensive tackle QB Quarterback
S Safety RB Running back WR Wide receiver TE Tight end
Season Player School Position
2013 John O'Korn Houston QB
2014 Marlon Mack[2] South Florida RB
2015 Tre'Quan Smith[3] UCF WR
2016 Ed Oliver[4] Houston DT
2017 T. J. Carter[5] Memphis CB
2018 Desmond Ridder[6] Cincinnati QB
2019 Kenneth Gainwell[7] Memphis RB
2020 Rahjai Harris [8] East Carolina RB
2020 Ulysses Bentley IV[8] SMU RB
2021 Alton McCaskill[9] Houston RB

Winners by school

School (First season) Winners Years
Houston (2013) 3 2013, 2016, 2021
Memphis (2013) 2 2017, 2019
East Carolina (2014) 1 2020
SMU (2013) 1 2020
Cincinnati (2013) 1 2018
USF (2013) 1 2014
UCF (2013) 1 2015

Coach of the Year

George O'Leary won the first award with UCF after an 11–1 regular season in which UCF earned The American's last automatic berth to a BCS bowl game, the first major bowl appearance in school history.[1]

Winners

Records reflect those at the time of selection, and do not include the conference championship game, the Army–Navy Game (which takes place a week after the conference title game), or bowl games.

George O'Leary, the 2013 winner
George O'Leary, the 2013 winner
* Unanimous selection
Co-Coach of the Year
Coach (X) Denotes the number of times the coach has been selected
Season Coach School Year with school Record
2013 George O'Leary UCF 10th 11–1
2014 Justin Fuente[2] Memphis 3rd 9–3
2015 Tom Herman[3] Houston 1st 11–1
2015 Ken Niumatalolo[3] Navy 8th 9–2
2016 Ken Niumatalolo (2)[4] Navy 9th 9–2
2017 Scott Frost[5] UCF 2nd 12–0
2018 Luke Fickell[6] Cincinnati 2nd 11–2
2019 Ken Niumatalolo (3)[7] Navy 12th 11–2
2020 Luke Fickell (2)[8] Cincinnati 4th 9–1
2021 Luke Fickell (3)[9] Cincinnati 5th 12–0

Winners by school

School (First season) Winners Years
Cincinnati (2013) 3 2018, 2020, 2021
Navy (2015) 3 2015, 2016, 2019
UCF (2013) 2 2013, 2017
Houston (2013) 1 2015
Memphis (2013) 1 2014

Footnotes

References

  1. ^ a b American Athletic Conference (December 11, 2013). "American Athletic Conference Announces 2013 Postseason Football Honors". Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "American Athletic Conference Announces 2014 Postseason Football Honors" (Press release). American Athletic Conference. December 10, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "2015 Postseason Football Honors" (Press release). American Athletic Conference. December 2, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e "American Athletic Conference Announces 2016 Football Honors" (Press release). American Athletic Conference. November 30, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e "2017 American Athletic Conference Football Postseason Honors" (Press release). American Athletic Conference. November 29, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e "UCF's Milton, ECU's Harvey, Temple's Wright Named as American Players of the Year" (Press release). American Athletic Conference. November 28, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "American Announces 2019 Postseason Football Honors" (Press release). American Athletic Conference. December 4, 2019. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "American Announces 2020 Football Postseason Honors" (Press release). American Athletic Conference. December 15, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d e "American Announces 2021 Football Postseason Honors". theAmerican.org. theamerican.org. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  10. ^ "ACC votes to add Louisville". Sports Illustrated. November 28, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2013.