Gonzales named to AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team
WACO, Texas — Senior offensive lineman Joseph Gonzales of WOU added another award to his season landing on the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coaches’ All-America second team Tuesday.
The 6-foot-6, 315-pound lineman from Springfield was a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award in Super Region 4, along with being named the co-Great Northwest Athletic Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year and to the first team.
“Joseph has continually improved each season in our program and has become one of the top linemen to play at WOU,” head coach Arne Ferguson said. “This year was just another example of how his work ethic translated into not just the multiple accolades in which he received, but all of the records that were achieved by the offense this season.”
The AFCA has selected an All-American team since 1945 and selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.
Gonzales started every game this season and helped the WOU offense shatter several program records since the program moved to Division II in 2000, rushing for the most yards in a single season with 2,672 and the most rushing touchdowns with 30. The 5,119 yards of total offense is also a new high mark in a season, as the Wolves recorded 53 total touchdowns this year. The passing game was also effective, tossing for 21 touchdowns and 2,452 yards. The Wolves scored 375 points this season and picked up 238 first downs. He helped block for a trio of runners that all went for over 700 yards this season, with Omari Land rushing for more than 1,000 yards, QB Ty Currie rushing for 825 yards and Nico Jackson adding 729 yards. All three went for over 100 yards in the first meeting against Azusa Pacific, and Currie took home three GNAC Player of the Week honors and Land with one during the season.
WOU finished the season 7-4 and 5-1 in GNAC play making program history when the Wolves claimed their first share of the GNAC title in school history.