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Football: Tim Albin wins MAC Coach of the Year, Ohio dominates end-of-season awards

The Mid-American Conference announced its football end-of-season awards and All-MAC teams Wednesday, and Ohio took home most of them.

Ohio coach Tim Albin was named MAC Coach of the Year after leading the team to a 9-3 season and the MAC Championship for the first time since 2016. It is only Albin’s second season as Ohio head coach, and he is just one year removed from ending the season 3-9 in 2021. 

“I am beyond honored to receive this award," Albin said in a release by Ohio Athletics. “It represents a lot more than just me; it represents the team, staff and entire organization’s journey."

Despite obtaining a season-ending injury in Week 12 at Ball State, quarterback Kurtis Rourke was named MAC Offensive Player of the Year and was the 2022 Vern Smith Leadership Award winner, which is given to the conference's most valuable player each year. 

Rourke finished his season with 3256 passing yards, which was still good for the 16th most in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Rourke is also tied for 18th in the FBS for passing touchdowns. 

Running back Sieh Bangura was also awarded Wednesday, earning MAC Freshman of the Year. He’s been a huge help to the Bobcats’ offense in his first season with 884 rushing yards so far. 

Even though he’s been battling injuries of his own, Bangura has especially increased his role over the past few weeks, rushing for 389 yards and four touchdowns in the Bobcats last three games. 

Nine Bobcats earned All-MAC honors Wednesday. Rourke, Keegan Wilburn, Hagen Meservy and Sam Wiglusz were named to the All-MAC First Team.

Nathanial Vakos was named to the All-MAC Second Team after his impressive freshman season. Vakos made 19-of-22 field goals in the regular season, including one of a career-high 55 yards. 

Bangura was named to the All-MAC Third Team alongside a few Ohio defensive players. Defensive lineman Jack McCrory, linebacker Keye Thompson and defensive back Tariq Drake also made the All-MAC Third Team. 

It has been a turnaround season for the Bobcats, but they were rewarded for it Wednesday. They’ve had great success but are not done yet. The Bobcats still have a MAC Championship to win Saturday in Detroit. 

@molly_burchard8

mb712319@ohio.edu

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