GAINESVILLE, Fla. - University of Florida head coach Will Muschamp was named the SEC Co-Coach of the Year and redshirt senior Caleb Sturgis (St. Augustine) was named Co-Special Teams Player of the Year in the SEC individual awards, announced by the league office Wednesday.
Muschamp was named Co-Coach of the Year along with Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin and earned the first SEC Coach of the Year honor for UF since Steve Spurrier in 1996. Sturgis earns the program's first Special Teams Player of the Year award since punt returner Brandon James garnered the distinction in 2008.
In just his second season, Muschamp has helped Florida improve from a 6-6 regular season in 2011 to an 11-1 regular season in 2012. The five-game turnaround in the regular season marked the biggest one-year leap for the program in 32 years (0-10-1 in 1979, 7-4 regular season in 1980). Muschamp is the only first time head coach at a BCS-conference school to win 11 regular-season games in his second season after finishing .500 or worse the previous regular season in records back to 1996.
On the season, Sturgis leads the Orange and Blue in scoring with 101 points and became the third player in school history to score 300 points in their career. He is tied for third in the nation in field goals and tied for the lead in the SEC in kicking scoring while tying for second in overall scoring (23 FG, 32 PAT). In addition, Sturgis leads the SEC with 20 made field goals and an 85.2 field goal percentage.
In his career, Sturgis is 69-for-87 in field-goal attempts and 128-for-134 on PATs and his 69 made field goals is the most all-time at Florida. He has booted seven field goals of 50-or-more yards in his career, the most in UF history. In addition, Sturgis has been named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award for the second-consecutive season.
The Gators compiled an 11-1 regular-season record and a 7-1 mark in SEC play this season. They will make their 22nd-straight bowl appearance in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 in New Orleans. UF has claimed a school-record four-consecutive bowls and will be making its eighth-consecutive January Bowl appearance, the longest active streak in the nation. In addition, the Gators will be appearing in a BCS Bowl for the seventh time, tops in the SEC and tied for the third-best total nationally. Florida's total of five BCS Bowl wins is tied for the top total in the nation and with a victory it will have the top total in the nation in all-time BCS wins.