Coury Collects AFCA All-America Honor
(WACO, Texas) – Junior linebacker Robert Coury (Phillipsburg N.J./Phillipsburg) of the Carnegie Mellon University football team added to his award list for the 2022 season with an American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Coaches' All-America first-team honor.
The award for Coury is the seventh in program history and the first for the Tartans since 2017 when punter Tyler Kohman earned first-team accolades. Prior to that, running back Sam Benger earned back-to-back first-team honors from the coaches association in 2015 and 2016 with the last defensive player to receive national recognition from the organization being Nick Zitelli in 2000. The other two honorees were linebacker Ken Murawaski in 1981 and offensive lineman Robert Butts in 1985.
Coury led the Tartans to their second straight Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) championship and an NCAA Division III playoff victory, ending the year with an 11-1 record which ties the program record for most wins previously set in 2006. The junior led the team in tackles (99) and tackles for a loss (18.0) while ranking second with 8.5 sacks. He ranked second in the PAC in tackles for loss, third in total tackles and fifth in sacks. Coury's 18.0 tackles for loss ranked 26th in Division III. The inside linebacker also forced a fumble and recorded four pass breakups this season.
Coury's individual performance helped the Tartans lead the PAC at the conclusion of the regular season in scoring defense for the second straight season allowing 10.9 points per game, rushing defense giving up 74.9 yards per contest, turnovers gained with 29, passes intercepted with 20, turnover margin at 2.10 and tackles for loss with 9.0 per contest. The Cardinal and Gray ranked third nationally in turnover margin, fourth in tackles for loss and passes intercepted, fifth in turnovers gained, 13th in scoring defense and 22nd in rushing defense.
The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.
The AFCA's Division III All-America Selection Committee is made up of head coaches representing each conference from each of the AFCA's seven districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee. The coaches in each district are responsible for ranking the top players in their respective districts prior to a conference call between the district chairmen and the committee chairman on which the team is chosen.