TUESDAY, DECEMBER 04, 2001
Football's Tyrone Wright Named Pioneer Football League Co-Defensive Player of the Year
Dec. 4, 2001
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JU free safety Tyrone Wright (Jacksonville, Fla.) has been named Pioneer Football League Co-Defensive Player of the Year, along with junior cornerback Mark Kasmer of Dayton, as voted on by the league's nine head coaches. Wright helped lead the ninth-ranked Dolphins to the PFL Southern Division Championship with a perfect 3-0 conference record in JU's first year in the league.
Dayton's Mike Kelly was tabbed PFL Coach of the Year for the sixth time after leading the second-ranked Flyers to a 10-1 record and the Pioneer Football League Championship. Dayton running back Jermaine Bailey was named Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 887 yards and seven touchdowns.
Wright finished the season second on the team with 65 tackles, including a team-high 46 solo stops (4.3/game), which ranked fourth in the PFL. He was also seventh in the league in interceptions (0.43/game) with four picks in 11 games, while breaking up seven passes and forcing two fumbles. Wright was part of a Dolphin defense that allowed just 151.8 passing yards per game, which ranked 13th in Division I-AA, while the JU defense also ranked seventh nationally in pass efficiency defense (95.62). The 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior also led the team in kickoff returns with a 25.2 yard-per-return average, including the school's first-ever kickoff return for a touchdown (94 yards), which earned him Mid-Major Special Teams Co-Player of the Week honors from Don Hansen's Weekly Football Gazette.
Wright, who is JU's all-time leader with 12 career interceptions, also earned Pioneer Football League First-Team All-Conference honors and is a candidate for Mid-Major All-America honors.
JU finished the 2001 season with a 6-5 record and a No. 9 ranking in the Sports Network I-AA Mid-Major Poll after losing to No. 2 Dayton in the Inaugural PFL Championship Game. It marks the first time in the four-year history of the program that the Dolphins posted a winning record.