Saddleback Head Coach Mark McElroy has been named the 2015 American Community College Football Coaches Association (ACCFCA) Coach of the Year. The award was presented to McElroy at the American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year Dinner on January 12 at the 2016 AFCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
“I am completely honored and humbled by this Coach of the Year Award and accept it on behalf of my coaching staff and the Gauchos of 2015 for, without their focused purpose, passion and perseverance, I would not have been chosen for this award,” McElroy said.
Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “Coach McElroy epitomizes what it means to be a great coach. His commitment to his student-athletes and their academic performance is second to none, and his athletic coaching skills are evidenced by the performance of our football teams year after year. Congratulations to Coach McElroy for this well-deserved recognition.”
McElroy recently completed his 17th season as the head coach at Saddleback College and led the Gauchos to a 10-3 overall record and an appearance in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Football State Championship game. The Gauchos reeled off 10 straight wins after starting the season 0-2, capturing the National Division Southern League title and beating Long Beach City College to win the Southern California Football Association (SCFA) championship, which earned the Gauchos a trip to the CCCAA State Championship game. Saddleback fell to the City College of San Francisco in the CCCAA State Championship game, 26-14.
“Coach McElroy is most deserving of the AFCA Community College Coach of the Year award for 2015,” Athletic Director Tony Lipold said. “His won/loss record, his football knowledge, and the success of this year’s team all contributed to his nomination and selection. But what is most important in the equation is his leadership and his commitment to his players, and in developing student-athletes both in the classroom and on the field that we can all be proud of.”
McElroy has an overall record of 125-63 and has led Saddleback to four conference titles. The Gauchos also advanced into post-season play for an SCFA record 13 straight seasons (2001-13), and 14 out of the last 15 years. McElroy has been named CCCAA Regional Coach of the Year three times (2004, 2006, 2015) and conference Coach of the Year four times.
Saddleback finished the season ranked No. 2 in the state by JC Athletic Bureau and No. 5 in the nation by JCGridiron.com. Sophomore quarterback Johnny Stanton was named by the JC Athletic Bureau to the first-team All-America list and the state’s Offensive Player of the Year. Sophomore safety Marcus Meredith was named first-team All-America on defense. The pair was joined by wide receiver Dominic Collins, center Markus Boyer, and offensive lineman Jake Nelson on the all-state list. McElroy was also named as the region’s Coach of the Year.