Rome, Ga. – Saint Xavier University senior quarterback Jimmy Coy (Park Ridge, Ill./Valdosta State/El Camino College/Maine South) has been named the 2012 Rawlings-NAIA National Football Player of the Year, announced this evening from Rome, Ga., site of the 57th Annual Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship. The announcement was made at the Banquet of Champions held at the Rome Forum. Coy becomes only the second player in Saint Xavier University Athletics history to earn National Player of the Year recognition. SXU Athletics Hall of Famer Colleen Kilduff claimed the NAIA's Softball National Player of the Year honor in 2006.
Coy is just the 13th player to receive the NAIA Football Player of the Year honor since the award was first presented in 1997 with two athletes repeating. He is just the third player to receive the award out of the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA). The other two MSFA winners played at University of Saint Francis (Ind.) in Cory Jacquay (2004) and Brian Kurtz (2006).
"I want to thank Coach (Mike) Feminis for giving me a second chance to play football," said Coy. "Also, thank you to my teammates. I wouldn't be here without you. It was a great two-year run."
Despite missing nearly two full games due to injury, Coy ended 2012 ranked third nationally in total offense (3,656) and passing (3,427). He completed 60.2 percent (265-of-440) of his passes and tossed 35 touchdowns. Coy eclipsed the 300-yard mark in eight games, including a career-high 426-yard performance against Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) in the Cougars season opener on Sept. 1. He also threw at least two touchdown passes in 10 of his 11 games. Coy tallied a career-high seven scores on October 20 against Taylor (Ind.). Coy, who was also named to the 2012 American Football Coaches' Association (AFCA)-NAIA All-America Team earlier Wednesday, finished his career at Saint Xavier with 7,688 passing yards and 82 touchdowns (five rushing). He guided the Cougars to a 25-2 record as the starter and a 6-1 mark in NAIA Football Championship Series contests during his tenure, including Saint Xavier's first national title in 2011. He was recognized twice as a MSFA All-Mideast League First Team selection and named the MSFA Mideast League Player of the Year this season.
"This is an unbelievable achievement and I couldn't be more proud of Jimmy," said SXU football coach Mike Feminis. "I knew when we signed him two years ago that we had something special. But a 25-2 record as a starter, leading us to a national championship last year and now winning the most prestigious individual honor is absolutely incredible.
"Historically, the National Player of the Year has typically gone to a player on one of the teams participating in the national championship, so for Jimmy to win it just proves how respected he is by coaches throughout the entire country," continued Feminis. "As great as he was on the field, Jimmy is also one of the nicest and most respectful young men I've ever coached. He was a great representative for Saint Xavier University on and off the field and most importantly, he will be graduating this Saturday from SXU with a degree in business. We're going to miss him big time and our next quarterback will have some pretty big shoes to fill."