WACO, Texas – Carson-Newman football safeties/special teams coach Denares "Deno" Waites has been named the Division II Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association.
Waites becomes the third C-N assistant to win the award following current offensive coordinator Mike Turner (2003) and former quarterbacks coach David Needs (2009). Carson-Newman, along with Campbellsville (NAIA) and Hampton (FCS) are the only schools that have had assistants recognized three times.
Waites has spent his four years of coaching at Carson-Newman, where, as a player, he was an all-SAC safety for three seasons.
"To receive an award that you're not expecting to get, it's just an honor and a blessing," Waites said. "It's an honor to work for coach Sparks, not only for what he's done for me, but for how he lives his life to honor the Lord. For coach Sparks to think that I deserve an award of this caliber is a blessing and a shock at the same time."
Waites is very involved in the local community, from organizing student-athletes to pass out Thanksgiving dinners to needy families and organizing Christmas boxes for local kids, to leading a small group at his church in Jefferson City
Waites has led a Bible study on Monday nights the Maddox Student Activities Center since he was a student at Mossy Creek. The events began in 2007 and continue with him guiding students and student athletes alike through the Good Book.
"He's a great example or being a dad, a husband, a churchmen and everything God calls us to be as men," Carson-Newman head football coach Ken Sparks said. "For the AFCA to recognize Deno is unbelievable. Personally, I just giggle all over myself because I'm so happy that it's happened for him."
In 2010, Waites participated in NCAA's Future Coaches Academy program.
His accomplishments aren't limited to off the field, under Waites' tutelage in 2012, safety Issac Kinley earned all-South Atlantic Conference honors.
Also in 2012, Waites' punt coverage teams only allowed four yards a return. He helped TraShaun Ward to a school record 650 kickoff return yards that year; Ward has 577 yards this season, fourth most all-time at C-N.
The criteria for the award are not limited to on-field coaching ability or the success of the team and players that these assistant coaches work with. Service to the community through charitable work and other volunteer activities, participation in AFCA activities and events, participation in other professional organizations and impact on student-athletes are all taken into account in the selection process.
Winners of the Assistant Coach of the Year Award will receive a plaque to commemorate the award. They will be honored at the President's Kickoff Luncheon, Monday, Jan. 13 at the 2014 AFCA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The 2013 honorees are as follows:
Football Bowl Subdivision–Chad Morris, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach, Clemson University
Football Championship Subdivision–John Banaszak, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line/Special Teams, Robert Morris University
Division II–Denares Waites, Safeties Coach/Special Teams, Carson-Newman University
Division III–Michael Schmidt, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach, University of Dubuque
NAIA–Jim Hogan, Offensive Line/Strength Coach, Carroll College