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The 2014 BSD Reader Awards: Best Position Coach

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Your nominees for Penn State's best position coach this season are...

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When trying to figure out who would make it into each category for the inaugural BSD Reader Awards, the hardest one to narrow down to three nominees was the Position Coach of the Year award. The three that were nominated were all brilliant, but some of the guys who didn't make it deserve some kind of recognition.

Take, for instance, Herb Hand. Yeah, the offensive line was pretty bad, but it became serviceable by the end of the year. He deserves a ton of credit from turning it into something semi-competent, considering the fact that it was a raging tire fire at the start of the season. Also, Bob Shoop did an amazing job coaching the safeties. But you already know that. Because Bob Shoop.

Without further adieu, here are the three nominees for the Position Coach of the Year Award:

  • Brent Pry, Linebackers
  • Terry Smith, Cornerbacks
  • Sean Spencer, Defensive Line
Unsurprisingly, when you think about excellence with the 2014 Nittany Lions, you think defense, and this award reflects that. Also, all three of the nominated coaches have done a nice job in recruiting, particularly Smith and Spencer.

Brent Pry, who also doubled as Penn State's co-defensive coordinator, coached three exceptional linebackers -- Mike Hull, Nyeem Wartman and Brandon Bell -- and turned unheralded guys like Jason Cabinda and Gary Wooten into valuable role players. Pry also helped turn Hull into one of the best linebackers in America this season. After moving him inside, you would have expected Hull to struggle. Instead, with the help of Pry, Hull was a wrecking ball. It was really fun to watch and you should feel bad if you disagree.

Terry Smith coached cornerbacks for the first time in his career and did a spectacular job. Not only did Jordan Lucas have a great year like everyone expected, but Trevor Williams took a big step forward and went from a totally maddening DB that opposing quarterbacks picked on last year to a solid option who lined up opposite Lucas. Then were the contributions from guys like Christian Campbell and Grant Haley, who stepped in as freshmen and did a great job, all things considered. It may not get the publicity that other guys get, but Smith did a masterful job during his first year coaching players in the secondary.

Finally, Sean Spencer had the biggest shoes to fill of anyone on the current staff, as he had to replace Larry Johnson. While it's only been one year, the early returns have been spectacular. Penn State's defensive line was arguably its best unit this year, as Anthony Zettel and Austin Johnson ruined people's lives up the middle, while Deion Barnes *pours out a 40* and C.J. Olaniyan were fiends off the edge. The Nittany Lions rotated guys on the defensive line all year, and whenever a new player stepped in, they seemed to get the job done. Good on Coach Chaos for making sure the line was deep, talented and vicious.

So who do you think was Penn State's best position coach in 2014? Vote in our poll, and feel free to explain your answer -- or why the wrong person(s) were nominated -- below!