Hoke, Araiza and Thomas Headline Aztecs' Mountain West Awards

Brady Hoke was named the conference's top coach for the second time.

They were the best team in the Mountain West during the regular season, and it showed when the league handed out its end of season awards Tuesday.

Brady Hoke took Mountain West Coach of the Year, while Matt Araiza grabbed Special Teams Player of the Year and Cameron Thomas claimed Defensive Player of the Year.

For Hoke its his second time landing the award, having done so in 2010. He took a team that was picked to finish third in the West Division and punched a ticket to the conference championship for the first time since 2016.

The Aztecs finished the regular season 11-1, matching their highest win total in program history. A win over Utah State Saturday or in their bowl game would set a new record. They are currently ranked 19th in the Associated Press Top-25 equaling the highest they've reached since 1977. The Aztecs are also No. 19 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Araiza has been one of the best storylines in college football, a national phenom thanks to his booming punts. A finalist for the Ray Guy Award, Araiza broke records for most 50-yard punts (38) and 60-yard punts (18) and is on pact to set a new mark for longest punt average. He also handles field goal and kickoff duties.

Thomas has racked up 66 tackles, 22 for loss, 11.5 sacks and 19 hurries from his spot along the defensive line. He is the third player in SDS history to win the award, and is also a finalist for the Bednarik Award - given to the nation's top defensive player.

Contact Us