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Knight named GAC Coach of the Year

18 Tigers earn All-GAC honors

By BRIAN RAMSEY | OBU Sports Network

RUSSELLVILLE — The Great American Conference released its all-conference teams and award winners for the 2022 football season on Wednesday with a league-best 18 coming from Ouachita Baptist University.

This is the fifth straight season for the Tigers to lead the league in all-conference selections. In addition, Ouachita’s Todd Knight was selected as the league’s coach of the year, his sixth such honor in the 11-year history of the GAC.

Ouachita Baptist University Tigers Head Coach Todd Knight, left, is pictured at a game against Southwestern Oklahoma State University. | Ouachita Baptist University photo

Ouachita won its sixth GAC championship this season with an undefeated regular season record of 11-0, the fourth undefeated regular season for the program in the last eight years. The Tigers will be participating in the NCAA Division II playoffs for the fifth time in program history starting this Saturday, November 19 at home against Northwest Missouri State in the opening round.

The Tigers earned nine All-GAC first team selections, led by senior running back TJ Cole, who was one of five players to be unanimously voted to the first team. He is joined on the first team by senior tight end Hunter Swoboda, senior offensive lineman Anthony Chairez, junior offensive lineman Zacary Henson, senior offensive lineman Peyton Stafford, senior defensive lineman Anthony Freeman, junior cornerback Andrew Hayes, junior punter Joe Couch, and senior special teamer Justin Dean. Dean also a spot on the All-GAC honorable mention team as an offensive utility player.

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Gabe Goodman

Six Tigers made the All-GAC second team, including sophomore running back Kendel Givens, sophomore receiver Connor Flannigan, graduate student offensive lineman Hunter Jackson, sophomore linebacker Jax Miller, senior linebacker Ty Compton, and sophomore safety Josiah Johnson.

In addition to Dean, three others made the honorable mention list in sophomore defensive lineman Braylen Butler, junior safety Dhante Gibson, and junior kicker Gabe Goodman.

12 of these student-athletes are earning All-GAC honors for at least the second time in their respective careers. Cole, Stafford, Chairez, and Freeman are all repeating as All-GAC first team honorees.

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