UWF’s Pete Shinnick Named Gulf South Conference Coach Of The Decade

June 17, 2020

In four years of competition, it’s safe to say the UWF football program has been a difference maker in Division 2 college football. More proof of that came to fruition on Tuesday when the Gulf South Conference named its Football All-Decade Teams for the 2010s, which featured three Argonauts and head coach Pete Shinnick being named the Coach of the Decade.

Marvin Conley was named to the First Team, while Tate Lehtio and John Williamson were voted onto the Second Team.

Shinnick has been the architect of one of the most inspiring startups in the history of college athletics, taking UWF to the NCAA D2 Playoffs twice in the first four years of the program. The Argonauts reached the title game in their second year and won the national championship last December in year four – becoming the second-fastest startup to win a football title in NCAA history.

The Argonauts are 35-17 all-time and own the highest postseason winning percentage in NCAA history at .900 with a 9-1 record with a minimum of 10 games. Shinnick was named the National Coach of the Year by multiple outlets in both 2017 and 2019.

Conley is a 2-time All-America selection from Tampa, Fla. who is UWF’s career leader in interceptions, interceptions returned for a touchdown, solo tackles and pass break-ups. He is second with 212 total tackles and was a 2018 First Team All-GSC selection when he had 62 tackles, two interceptions and three PBUs.

Lehtio ended his career as the program leader in receptions with 215 and receiving yards with 2,463, including 70 catches for 733 yards and seven touchdowns in postseason play. He is second with 4.13 receptions per game, 14 touchdowns, and 90 points scored. He was a 2019 All-Region and First Team All-GSC honoree. The Parkland, Fla. native finished national
championship season with 1,120 receiving yards and 80 yards per game. He was also 3-time GSC Fall All-Academic selection, a CoSIDA Academic All-District choice and a NFF Hampshire Honor Society recipient.

Williamson was one of the most dominant defensive linemen of the decade. He started for two seasons at defensive end for UWF, compiling 110 tackles, 32 tackles for loss and a school-record 21.0 career sacks, which ranked fifth in GSC history at the time (currently seventh). He was particularly nasty in the 2017 national runner-up season when he set the league single-season sacks record with 14.5, earning him All-America, All-Region and All-GSC honors. The Stockton, Ala. native was a 2-time CoSIDA Academic All-District and 2-time GSC Fall All-Academic performer.

Rogan Wells of Valdosta State and Tavarius Wilson of North Alabama were named the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Decade, respectively.

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