#BNAs2017 | Coach of the Year 2017 with Jaguars UK

Before we get into the final shortlist of candidates, some very worthy nominations who didn’t quite make it into the final four contenders for this year’s award.

Luke Carlton
Offensive Coordinator, Manchester Titans

A huge part of the Titans’ success in 2017 was their ability to score points, almost at will. Averaging 40 points per game through the season,  the top offence in all Division One, the Titans even came close to putting up a #50Burger in the National Championship game!  Carlton’s innovation and adaptability to work with the athletes available to him earned him an enthusiastic nomination from his players.

Alex Halms
Head Coach, Hertfordshire Cheetahs Under 19s

We had a good number of very passionate nominations for Coach Halms, who lead the Cheetahs to their first ever Under 19s playoff appearance, competing in the Trophy Final versus the impressive Solent Seahawks. His players appreciate his knowledge, energy and commitment, and in a year of shake-ups for the Cheetahs programme, Coach Halms enters 2018 as the Cheetahs longest-tenured Head Coach after only two seasons with the team!

Dave Gibbs
Offensive Line, Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Per his nominations, Coach Gibbs was a huge part of the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts revolutionary 2017 campaign, where the club caught fire on its way to a number of firsts – first winning record, first playoff appearance, first playoff victory. A tireless and committed member of the Portsmouth programme, Coach Gibbs ran film sessions for the Dreadnoughts O every week, upgrading not only the skillset of his positional group, but the football IQ of the entire Pompey roster.

Jonathon Rooney
Head Coach, Durham Saints

People will choose to remember differing things about the Durham Saints 16/17 campaign, but the reality is they have built themselves one of the top University programmes in the UK, and it’s only a matter of time before they hoist a College Bowl title. Through setbacks and adversity, Coach Rooney led the Saints with decisiveness and integrity to their first BUCS Finals appearance, where they fell short only by the narrowest of margins… and so far has the Saints right on course to go one step further in 2017/18, undefeated atop the Premiership North.

James Wilford
Head Coach, Gloucestershire Gladiators
Defensive Coordinator, Bristol Aztecs

Watch out for this name – Coach Wilford is a rising star in the Britball coaching world. At Gloucestershire, he’s created a programme that allows a small university to punch well above its weight in the hotly contested South West, while at the Aztecs he’s taken on the task of facing down the likes of the London Blitz and London Warriors four or more times a season, without blinking. Players clearly enjoy playing under him, based on the number of nominations received, and rumour has it Coach Wilford could be taking his skills to an even higher platform of Britball in 2018.

And the final four nominees are…

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Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1