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LWC's Mike Gutelius named 2015 NAIA Assistant Coach of Year
Campus leader is also deeply involved in community activities. He heads the Blue Raiders' community outreach efforts, including spearheading the football team's efforts in the institution's Operation Christmas Child, reading in the local school system, volunteering in the after-school programs, and organizing food drives for the Adair County Food Pantry.
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By Chris Wells
COLUMBIA, KY - Lindsey Wilson football defensive coordinator Mike Gutelius has been selected as the 2015 American Football Coaches Association NAIA Assistant Coach of the Year, AFCA officials announced on Tuesday, December 8, 2015.
Gutelius was selected as the NAIA's top assistant coach from a pool of three finalists. One assistant coach is selected by the AFCA Public Relations Committee from each of the Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and the NAIA as the assistant coach of the year. Gutelius was a finalist for the honor in 2014.
"I'm honored and proud to represent Lindsey Wilson College and the NAIA," Gutelius said. "I applaud the AFCA for recognizing the contributions of assistant coaches on every level and I'm honored to receive this prestigious distinction.
"It's an honor, first and foremost, just to be nominated by Coach (Chris) Oliver for doing something that is a passion of mine. It's rewarding that he believes in the job I'm doing for our team, both on and off the field, and for Lindsey Wilson College."
Oliver, who resurrected the Lindsey Wilson football program after a 75-year hiatus in 2010 and hired Gutelius to lead his defense, says that Gutelius is very deserving of the honor.
"Mike Gutelius is an outstanding representative of not only Blue Raider football, but of Lindsey Wilson College as a whole," Oliver said. "He works hard for the betterment of the young men in our program, and he sincerely cares about their development as people. His commitment to excellence on and off the field has been a vital part of our success as a program over the past six seasons.
"We're blessed with an outstanding group of assistant coaches, and I'm happy that 'Coach Gut' was rewarded for his efforts with this great honor."
Gutelius just completed his sixth season as the Blue Raiders' defensive coordinator. His defense set a season program record in 2015, allowing just 224 points during the season. The 20.4 points per game allowed ranks 18th in the NAIA this season.
The Blue Raiders finished 2015 with an 8-3 record, reaching their second consecutive Football Championship Series -- the NAIA's 16-team national playoffs.
Gutelius is active in the AFCA, serving on the Exhibits Committee during two different stints, previously served on the Division III Assistant Coaches Committee and annually attends the AFCA convention and participates in the Professional Development Series.
In addition to his work on the field, Gutelius heads the Blue Raiders' community outreach efforts, including spearheading the football team's efforts in the institution's Operation Christmas Child, reading in the local school system, volunteering in the after-school programs and organizing food drives for the Adair County Food Pantry.
Gutelius has help organize and participate in a "Be the Match" bone marrow donor drive and a National Child ID program initiative where over 1,300 identification kits were passed out to local elementary school children.
In 2013, the Lindsey Wilson football program earned the NAIA Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Team Award.
"The most important thing we do as coaches is to mentor the young men we are charged to lead," Gutelius said. "The world we live in, unfortunately, is far too often a self-based culture. I believe we can help our young men to look outside of themselves and give back to their community through, for example, service projects that will enable them to grow as individuals."
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.
"I'm honored to receive this award, but any one of the coaches I have the great pleasure of working with on a daily basis could have received it," Gutelius said. "We all do our part to serve our student-athletes, to make a positive impact on their lives."
This story was posted on 2015-12-09 08:16:03
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