Iowa State coaches Lou Ayeni and Alex Golesh call out a play at the spring football game at Jack Trice Stadium on April 8, 2017.
The following is a press release courtesy of Iowa State Athletics Communications.
AMES, Iowa — A pair of Iowa State assistant coaches were lauded nationally for their outstanding work during the 2017 season.
Associate Head Coach/Running Game Coordinator Lou Ayeni was named the Running Backs Coach of the Year by 247Sports and Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Coach Tyson Veidt was honored as the Linebackers Coach of the Year by Football Scoop.
Iowa State, which ended the regular season with a 7-5 overall mark and a 5-4 Big 12 record, will play in the 2017 Liberty Bowl on Dec. 30th, its first bowl appearance in five years. ISU also made the AP national rankings for the first time since 2005 and was ranked in the College Football Playoff poll for the first time in school history.
Ayeni, who is in his fourth season on the Cyclone staff, played a huge part in Iowa State’s offensive success. He mentored sophomore running back David Montgomery to a 1,000-yard season (1,094), just the 14th player in school history to crack the 1,000-yard barrier.
Montgomery was a consensus First-Team All-Big 12 selection and earned First-Team All-America honors from Pro Football Focus (PFF) with his toughness and tenacity. Montgomery, who has six 100-yard rushing games and ranks second in the Big 12 in rushing touchdowns (11), led the nation in forced missed tackles with 104.
The Cyclones and Ayeni put an emphasis on ball security and the results have been incredible. Iowa State is the only team in the nation without a lost fumble this season, aiming to become the first team in FBS history to go an entire season without losing a fumble.
Ayeni’s backs carried the ball 303 times without losing a fumble.
The Cyclone defense made an amazing turnaround in 2017 and Veidt’s impact was instrumental.
Iowa State ranked second in the Big 12 (conference games only) in scoring defense (18.9) and total defense (357.2) and broke the school record for tackles for loss in a season with 86.
Veidt tutored a linebacker crew that was a force all season, tallying 28.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and four interceptions, as three of Veidt’s linebackers (Joel Lanning, Marcel Spears, Willie Harvey) earned All-Big 12 recognition.
Lanning became one of the greatest stories in college football in 2017. A former quarterback, Lanning switched to linebacker prior to spring practice and emerged as one of the best linebackers in the nation, earning First-Team All-America honors by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
Lanning was second in the Big 12 in tackles per game (9.2), tied for the team lead in sacks (5.0) and was second on the team in TFL (10.0).
Harvey earned Honorable Mention All-Big 12 accolades by recording 71 tackles, 10.0 TFL and four sacks and Spears was also a Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection with 96 stops, 6.0 TFL and two interceptions.