Army West Point fullbacks coach Mike Viti has been named the 2019 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Assistant Coach of the Year, it was announced on Tuesday. This comes after Viti was the eighth recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award, announced by the Football Writers Association (FWAA) on Veteran's Day. Each year, one assistant coach from the five divisions of college football is selected for their dedication to their teams and communities. A total of 53 nominees from Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA were nominated in 2019. Joining Viti as the FBS Finalists this year were Bob Shoop (Mississippi State) and Timothy Albin (Ohio University).
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 criteria 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 taken into account in the selection process. As a player at Army West Point (2004-2007), Viti earned four varsity letters and was a team captain. He carried the ball 91 times during his career for 321 yards and three scores while catching 30 passes for 198 yards. Viti also served as a Regimental Commander during his senior year. Read more.