Football Offenses and Plays

Front Cover

Football Offenses & Plays presents all of the popular offensive systems used today as well as tactical advice for play calling in each of four areas of the field. It features insights from many of the game's top offensive minds, who have conceived, or are extremely successful in employing, a specific means of attack:

-Discover the strengths of the I-Formation from Al Borges and the use of the H-back from Joe Novak.

-Maximize the use of one-back sets using two, three, or four receivers with the help of Glen Mason, Joe Tiller, and Gregg Brandon.

-Make the shotgun a real weapon with the insights of Randy Walker and Rich Rodriguez.

-Learn how to use four receivers from shotgun formations from Rich Rodriguez.

-Trace the development of running attacks, including the veer with Bill Yeoman, the wing-T with Tubby Raymond, and flexbone with Fisher DeBerry.

-Execute soundly in the yellow zone, green zone, red zone, and gold zone with guidance from Dennis Franchione, Ralph Friedgen, Larry Kehres, and Terry Malone.

-Employ the best strategies for two-minute and no-huddle situations with advice from Gary Tranquill.

-Help your quarterback make effective play calls at the line of scrimmage with the audible system presented by Don Nehlen.

Developed by the American Football Coaches Association, Football Offenses & Plays is the most detailed and comprehensive book on offensive tactics ever published. Make it part of your game plan this season and see your side of the scoreboard light up!


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Split Backs
H Back Two Tight Ends
Two Receivers Two Tight Ends
Three Receivers One Tight End
Four Receivers
Four Receivers
Delaware WingT
Own 10Yard Line
GoalLine and Short
TwoMinute and NoHuddle
About the AFCA

Air Force Flexbone

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Since its establishment in 1922, the American Football Coaches Association has provided a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football and coaching. It also works to maintain the highest possible standards in football and the coaching profession. These objectives--first declared by founders Major Charles Daly, Alonzo Stagg, John Heisman, and others--have been instrumental to the AFCA's becoming the effective and highly respected organization it is today.

The AFCA is the professional organization for coaches at all levels, from high school to the NFL. Its international membership includes coaches from Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Through annual publications and several newsletters, the association keeps members informed of the most current rule changes and proposals, proper coaching methods, innovations in techniques, insights on coaching philosophy, and business conducted by the board of trustees and AFCA committees.

The AFCA works closely with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, the National Football League, the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, Pop Warner, and other organizations involved in the game of football. Indeed, one of the goals of the association is to build a strong coalition of football coaches--Team AFCA--who speak out with a unified voice on issues that affect the sport and profession.

For more information about becoming a member of the AFCA, please visit the AFCA Web site ( or write to the following address:
American Football Coaches Association
100 Legends Lane
Waco, TX 76706

Bill Mallory ranks first on Indiana University's all-time victories list, having amassed a 69-77-3 record in his 13-year tenure as head coach. While compiling a 165-121-4 record at Miami (Ohio), Colorado, Northern Illinois, and Indiana, Mallory became one of only a handful of coaches in history to guide three different programs to top 20 finishes in national polls. He was twice named both Mid-American Coach of the Year and AFCA District Coach of the Year, and in 1987 he became the first coach to be awarded back-to-back Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. While at Indiana, Mallory led the Hoosiers to six bowl games, including victories in the 1998 Liberty Bowl and the 1991 Copper Bowl. He also led IU to a top 20 ranking in 1988. Mallory is a Hall of Fame member at Miami University, Northern Illinois University, and Indiana University. He holds a bachelor's degree from Miami University and a master's degree from Bowling Green State University. Mallory and his wife, Ellie, have four children--three of whom coach college football--and 10 grandchildren.

Don Nehlen, who achieved the most wins in West Virginia University's history, served as the Mountaineers' head coach from 1980 to 2000 and posted a 149-93-4 record. Nehlen's career record of 202-138-8 (including nine seasons as head coach at Bowling Green from 1968 to 1976) made him one of only 17 coaches in NCAA history to record 200 wins. Taking WVU to 13 bowl games and 17 winning seasons, Nehlen coached 15 first team All-Americans, 82 all-conference players, six first team Academic All-Americans, and 80 players who went on to professional football. He received Coach of the Year honors from numerous groups and was the unanimous choice as the 1993 Big East Coach of the Year. A member of the Mid-American Conference, Bowling Green, and Gator Bowl halls of fame, Nehlen has a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green and a master's degree from Kent State. A native of Canton, Ohio, Nehlen and his wife, Merry Ann, have two children and five grandchildren.

John Bond has been the Northern Illinois University offensive coordinator since 2003, when he steered the Huskies to single-season school records in points (421), touchdowns (53), first downs (261), and total offense yards (5,265). Bond boasts 22 seasons of experience, including three years as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Army (2000-2003), where he installed a one-back system that set 35 records, and at Illinois State University (1996-99), where he helped lead teams to the NCAA 1-AA playoffs twice (1998-99) and the Gateway Athletic Conference title (1999).

Al Borges, regarded as one of football's top offensive minds, has more than 31 years of coaching experience. The offensive coordinator for Auburn University since 2004, Borges helped his team finish first in the SEC in scoring offense in his first year. During his previous two years at Indiana, he helped the Hoosier offense set a school record for passing yards and take a third-place ranking in Big Ten passing offense. In five seasons as UCLA's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1996 to 2000, Borges helped guide the Bruins to three consecutive NCAA bowl games and two Pac-10 championships (1997, 1998). Borges is a two-time finalist for the Frank Broyles Assistant Coach of the Year Award (1997, 1998), and he received Football Coach Quarterly's Offensive Coordinator of the Year in 1997.

Gregg Brandon became the 16th head coach in the history of Bowling Green State University's football program in 2002 and guided the Falcons to back-to-back bowl wins for just the second time in school history after winning in the GMAC Bowl in 2004. The Falcons also boasted the most potent offense in MAC history, finishing second in the country at 506.3 yards per game and fourth nationally in scoring offense at 44.3 points per game. Both established new league records. Brandon was hired after more than 22 years of coaching experience at the Division I level, including two years as assistant head coach at BGSU.

Mitch Browning has worked as the assistant coach to Glen Mason for 20 seasons at three different institutions: Kent State, Kansas, and Minnesota. During Browning's reign at Minnesota, the Gophers have finished among the top 35 in total offense in the nation in five consecutive seasons. In 2003 he helped the Gophers set a Big Ten record for total offense (6,430) and finish with the fourth-highest rushing total (3,759) and sixth-highest point total (503) in Big Ten history. Browning was selected as a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award, given annually to the top assistant football coach at the NCAA Division I level.

Jim Chaney reached the NFL level in February 2006, when he was hired as the assistant offensive line coach for the St. Louis Rams. Chaney spent the previous nine seasons as the offensive coordinator for Purdue, during which time he helped the Boilermakers lead the Big Ten in passing offense for five of his last eight seasons (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004) and in total offense on three occasions (1997, 1999, 2002). He also worked as the Boilermakers' tight ends coach. Chaney is a native of Holden, Missouri, and played college football as a guard at Central Missouri State.

Fisher DeBerry has been the Air Force head coach since 1984 and served as the Academy's assistant coach from 1980 to 1983. He has led 17 of his 22 teams to winning records, and 12 have captured a bowl bid. His career record of 165-100-1 is the best in school history in terms of games won and winning percentage. DeBerry has coached the Falcons to three conference championships, and his team won a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship in both 1985 and 1995. In 1998 DeBerry guided the team to its first outright title with the WAC Mountain Division championship, and in 2003 he reached the 150-win mark.

Mike Dunbar assumed offensive coordinator duties for Northwestern University in 2002 and has since helped to bolster the Wildcat offense to elite status. Dunbar came to Evanston from Northern Iowa, where he compiled a 29-15 record as head coach from 1997 to 2000. He has an 83-24-1 career record as head coach, including a 54-9-1 mark in six seasons at NAIA Central Washington. While he was at CWU, his teams earned two number one national rankings, made the playoffs six times, and extended a regular-season winning streak to 40 games.

Dennis Franchione was named Texas A&M's 26th head coach in 2002. A 32-year coaching veteran, Franchione has a career record of 166-86-2 (a .657 winning percentage), which ranks him 13th among active head coaches. His 166 career victories rank him seventh among active head coaches. Franchione has won nine conference or division championships and 11 conference or regional Coach of the Year awards. He has also received two National Coach of the Year awards and is a two-time finalist for the Paul "Bear" Bryant National Coach of the Year Award (2000, 2002). Starting his head coaching career at Southwestern (Kansas) College in 1981, Franchione finished with a 14-4-2 record before moving to his alma mater, Pittsburg (Kansas) State, in 1984, where he was twice named NAIA Coach of the Year and led teams to five straight conference titles, five consecutive playoff appearances, and a regular-season winning streak of 45 consecutive games.

Ralph Friedgen became the winningest fourth-year coach in Atlantic Coast Conference history as he entered his fifth season at the University of Maryland in 2005. Friedgen continues to build his alma mater's football program, guiding the Terps to a 36-14 record and a trio of major bowl appearances--including two decisive wins--in his four seasons as a collegiate head coach. In his first three seasons at the helm of the Terrapin program, Friedgen also became the first coach in conference history to lead a team to three straight seasons of 10 wins or more. His 36 wins in four years rank him in the top 10 in NCAA history.

John Hayden Fry compiled a record of 232-178-10 during his 37-year career as a head coach. Best known for sparking a resurgence at the University of Iowa, Fry led the Hawkeyes to a record of 143-89-6 over 20 seasons. In 1981 he led the team to its first winning season in 19 years with a Big Ten co-championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl. The 1981 season was the first of eight straight winning seasons for the Hawkeyes and 14 bowl game appearances. When he retired as coach of the Hawkeyes following the 1998 season, Fry was ranked tenth on the all-time list. Fry graduated from Baylor University with a degree in psychology in 1951 and received his first head coaching job at Southern Methodist University from 1962 to 1972, where he led the Mustangs to their first Southwest Conference title since 1948. He then went on to coach at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) from 1973 to 1978. Fry was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Larry Kehres is the head football coach and director of athletics at Mount Union College in Ohio. During Kehres' 20-year tenure, his teams have captured eight national championships and broke Mount Union's own NCAA all-division record for consecutive wins when the squad won its 55th game in a row (2000-2003) in the semifinals of the Division III playoffs in 2003. The Purple Raiders also set the NCAA all-division record with 54 consecutive wins from 1996 to 1999. Kehres was named 2005 Ohio Football Coach of the Year, finishing the season with a career record of 231-20-3 (.915). In 2002, Kehres became the first coach in AFCA history to win seven AFCA National Coach of the Year Awards, and he was elected to the AFCA Board of Trustees in 2001.

Terry Malone was hired as the New Orleans Saints tight ends coach in 2006 after serving as the University of Michigan's offensive coordinator and tight ends coach from 2002 to 2005. During his nine-year tenure with the Wolverines, Malone helped lead teams to 16 All-Big Ten first team citations and eight second team honors. Michigan's 2003-2004 offensive unit ranked second in the Big Ten in scoring and 24th nationally with an average of 30.83 points per game. Malone was offensive line coach at Boston College in 1996 and served as offensive line coach, tight ends coach, and offensive coordinator at Bowling Green from 1986 to 1995.

Glen Mason has led the University of Minnesota football program to six bowl games in the past seven years, becoming the first coach in school history to do so. With a victory in the 2004 Music City Bowl, Mason helped Minnesota earn three consecutive bowl victories for the first time in school history. He is one of only six active coaches with at least 40 victories at two different Division I schools and one of four active coaches with at least two bowl wins at two different Division I institutions. Mason has directed three of the most monumental turnarounds in college football at Kent State, Kansas, and Minnesota. He is one of only three coaches in NCAA history to be named the conference Coach of the Year in three different conferences: Big Ten (1999), Big Eight (1995, 1991), and Mid-American (1986).

Joe Novak has served as the head football coach at Northern Illinois University since 1995. In 2004, he led the Huskies to a 9-3 record, a share of the Mid-American Conference Western Division title, and a victory in the Silicon Valley Bowl, marking the program's first bowl appearance in 21 years. Novak earned AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors in 2003 when the Huskies finished 10-2, setting a school record for regular-season wins. In 2005, he was elected to the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees, and he received the prestigious Ray Meyer Coach Award. Novak previously served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Indiana University (1984-1995), where he led teams to six bowl games.

Chuck Petersen has been a varsity assistant for the Air Force Academy football program since 1991, serving as offensive coordinator since 2000 and quarterbacks and fullbacks coach since 1997. With Petersen at the helm, the Falcons led the conference in total offense, scoring, rushing, passing efficiency, and third- and fourth-down conversions in 2000. In 2002, Air Force won its first national rushing title and led the conference in scoring. In 2003, Petersen was named Assistant Coach of the Year for Division I by the American Football Coaches Association.

Harold R. "Tubby" Raymond's retirement in 2002 ended an era that spanned 36 seasons as head coach at the University of Delaware and seven decades in the coaching profession. Under Raymond's direction, the Blue Hens compiled a 300-119-3 (.714) record, making him one of only nine coaches in the history of college football to reach 300 victories and just the fourth to do so at one school. He led teams to three national championships, 14 Lambert Cup trophies, 16 NCAA playoff appearances, and six Yankee Conference/Atlantic 10 Titles. Raymond received awards for NCAA College Division Coach of the Year four times, EFAC I-AA Coach of the Year twice, and AFCA District II and Region I Coach of the Year seven times. He received the Vince Lombardi Football Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999, was recognized by Sports Illustrated magazine as No. 3 on the top 100 sports figures of the 20th century in the state of Delaware in 2000, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Rich Rodriguez has been the head football coach at West Virginia University since 2001, during which time he has led teams to three Big East championships (2003, 2004, 2005), two Gator Bowls (2003 and 2004), and a Sugar Bowl victory and top 5 national ranking following the 2005 season. Previously Clemson University's associate head coach and offensive coordinator (1999 to 2000), Rodriguez guided a Tiger attack that set 26 school records--more than any Clemson team since the NCAA modern era of record keeping began in 1936. He also served as Tulane University's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1997 to 1998 and as Glenville State University's head coach from 1990 to 1996, leading teams to four West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles, two NAIA playoff appearances, and one berth in the NAIA championship game.

Joe Tiller became Purdue's 33rd head football coach in 1996. Taking the reins of a program that had just one winning season and no bowl game appearances since 1984, Tiller engineered eight consecutive bowl berths, an average of nearly eight wins per season, and a Big Ten championship in 2000. His teams have qualified for eight of the 13 bowl games in school history, making Purdue one of only eight schools in the nation to play in a bowl game each of those consecutive eight years. After his first season at Purdue, Tiller was named National Coach of the Year by both Football News and Kickoff magazines, the GTE Region 3 Coach of the Year (Big Ten, Mid-American Conference, and Conference USA) by the American Football Coaches Association, and the Big Ten Dave McClain Coach of the Year.

Gary Tranquill has 44 years of collegiate and professional coaching experience, becoming North Carolina's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2001. Tranquill has a diverse coaching background that includes 14 years of experience as an offensive coordinator at five different schools, three years as a defensive coordinator, and five years as a Division I head coach. In his four years at Carolina, the Tar Heels have set numerous passing records. In 2004, Carolina finished second in the league with 390.7 yards per game. Tranquill was inducted into Wittenberg's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986.

Randy Walker was hired as Northwestern University's football coach in 1999, after becoming Miami of Ohio's all-time victory leader, and now stands as the second-winningest coach in Northwestern history. In just his second season at the Wildcat helm, Walker took Northwestern from last to first in the Big Ten. For his 2000 achievements, he was named the Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year and the Region 3 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association. In 2003, Northwestern earned a trip to the Motor City Bowl by winning four of its last six Big Ten games. With a 2005 bowl appearance, Walker became the first NU mentor to guide three different teams to the postseason and the first coach ever to guide three straight teams to four or more Big Ten wins.

Bill Yeoman served as head football coach at the University of Houston from 1962 to 1986, and his greatest legacy may be the invention of triple option that resulted in the veer offense. Yeoman's 160 victories are the most in Houston's history and rank 51st on the NCAA all-time wins list. The Cougars won four Southwest Conference titles and 11 bowl games, posting a 6-4-1 bowl record under Yeoman's guidance and leading the nation in every facet of offense from 1966 to 1970. Named Texas Coach of the Year in 1976, Yeoman helped the Cougars finish the season ranked in the top 10 four times and in the top 20 10 times. In 1985, Yeoman was inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Honor and was the first representative from the University of Houston to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

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