With Sam McElroy at the helm, Tarleton State won its first share of a Lone Star Conference championship and its first NCAA Division II playoff game since 2001.

Twenty Texans raked in post season honors from the LSC, as the team also split the South Division title for the second time in four years.

It is fitting then, that the head coach be honored, as well.

McElroy was named American Football Coaches Association Division II Region IV Coach of the Year when honors were announced Wednesday morning.

"This is a good honor for our team, staff and school,” McElroy said.  “We are fortunate to have a great coaching staff at Tarleton.  This award is for everyone that is a part of the Texan football program. It is certainly nice for the program and the university.”

McElroy, who boasts a 40-15 record at Tarleton, led the 2009 Texans to the national playoffs for the third time in school history and to just their second post season win since joining the Division II ranks in 1994. The LSC championship is the school's second, the South Division title is its third.

McElroy and other Division II honorees - Rocky Rees of Shippensburg (Region I), Steve Mullins of Arkansas Tech (Region II), Keith Otterbein of Hillsdale College (Region III) and Blaine Bennett of Central Washington (Region V) - will join regional winners from both the Division I FBS and FCS ranks, as well as honorees from Division III and the NAIA at the AFCA Coach of the Year dinner on Jan. 12 in conjunction with the association's annual convention in Orlando. National coaches of the year at each level will be announced at that time.