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NDSU’s Hedberg named AFCA FCS Assistant Coach of the Year

The American Football Coaches Association on Wednesday, April 28, announced North Dakota State’s Randy Hedberg and Morningside’s Casey Jacobsen as winners of the 2021 Spring AFCA FCS and NAIA Assistant Coach of the Year Award. There were eight nominees each from FCS and NAIA who were nominated for their dedication to their teams and communities.

Hedberg has been the associate head coach, passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at North Dakota State for the past two seasons, and was the quarterbacks coach from 2014-18. He has helped guide the Bison to five national championships and six Missouri Valley Football Conference titles. Hedberg is very involved with the football program’s community involvement. His true passion is associated with events going towards cancer cure and treatment. Hedberg is active in the R-Cubed Fundraiser, which is a triathlon that has raised over $50,000 for the Angel Fund. These funds directly help in supporting and offsetting cost of care for cancer patients in northern Minnesota. Hedberg has also been involved with the Special Olympics for several years from a financial and logistics side.

Jacobsen is in his 17th season at Morningside and has been the co-defensive coordinator since 2010. He has helped guide the Mustangs to two NAIA national championships and 11 Great Plains Athletic Conference titles. Jacobsen oversees the Junior Leadership program for Morningside football where he talks to the student-athletes about being a servant leader in the community, at home and on the football team. Through this program, his athletes have put together service trips to Kenya, Uganda, Cuba and Houston, Texas. Jacobsen has also helped set up service projects to help with flood relief along the Missouri River in Iowa and organizes volunteers for the Food Bank of Siouxland and the Humane Society.

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. 

The criterion for the award is not limited to on-field coaching ability or the success of the team and the players whom these assistant coaches work with. Service to the community through charitable work and other volunteer activities, participation in AFCA activities and events, participation in other professional organizations and impact on student-athletes are all considered in the selection process. Winners of the Assistant Coach of the Year Award will receive a plaque to commemorate their recognition.

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