Garrett Named NJAC Coach of the Year; Clerk Earns Top Defensive Rookie Honor
PITMAN, N.J. (11/18/11) – After capturing the New Jersey Athletic Conference championship, Kean University head coach Dan Garrett has been named the NJAC Coach of the Year and freshman linebacker Matt Clerk earned NJAC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Garrett earns his second NJAC Coach of the Year honors in his six-year tenure at the helm of the Cougar program after also picking up the accolade in 2006 after leading the Cougars to a 7-4 campaign in his first season as a head coach. In just six seasons, Garrett is already the program's all-time winningest coach with 42 career victories and a .667 winning percentage (42-21) and has guided the Cougars to the program's first appearance in the NCAA playoffs.
This season, the Cougars have matched the single-season win total with nine victories, tying Garrett's 2009 squad and the 1987 team that captured the program's first NJAC title.
The first player to earn NJAC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in program history, Clerk made 22 tackles, including five tackles for a loss of 35 yards. A three-time NJAC defensive rookie of the week, Clerk made big plays over the final weeks of the season for the Cougars, including a pair of interceptions on back-to-back Montclair State offensive plays late in the first half that led to 10 Kean points in the 27-14 win over Montclair State for the NJAC title.
This season, Clerk also had three sacks for a 28-yard loss and was tied for team-high honors with two forced fumbles and two blocked kicks.
The Cougars face Christopher Newport University in the first round of the NCAA playoffs on Saturday, November 19, at Noon.