He helped lead the Saskatchewan Roughriders to the Grey Cup title in December, and now former Tennessee Tech football standout Corey Chamblin has added another piece of hardware to the mantle – the Annis Stukus Trophy that goes to the league's coach of the year.
Chamblin — who played defensive back for the Golden Eagles from 1995-98 — helped the Roughriders finish 11-7 in the 2013 regular season and advance to the 101st Grey Cup, where they defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 45-23 on their home field at Mosaic Stadium.
The coach of the year award was presented to Chamblin last week, as he beat out fellow finalists Kent Austin (Hamilton) and John Hufnagel (Calgary Stampeders).
"It's something I didn't know that I'd win or not because there were two other (finalists) who are pretty good, so I'm pretty excited right now," Chamblin said in an interview on cfl.ca.
A native of Birmingham, Ala., Chamblin played four seasons for the Golden Eagles from 1995 through 1998, with one season under head coach Jim Ragland and three for head coach Mike Hennigan. With Chamblin lining up in the secondary, he also got direction from defensive coordinator Mike Smith, the current head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.
He was an honorable mention all-OVC selection as a junior in 1997. In his four seasons, he had 161 total tackles while seeing action in all 43 contests. He had eight passes defended, three interceptions and blocked two kicks, including a punt that he returned for a touchdown in Tech's 30-20 rivalry game victory over Middle Tennessee.
Chamblin, 36, capped his second season with Saskatchewan in style, leading the Roughriders to a Grey Cup championship on home soil, their fourth overall.
"Coach Chamblin did a remarkable job of leading his players through adversity, high expectations and the ups and downs of a season," CFL commissioner Mark Cohon, who presented Chamblin the award at a luncheon in Ottawa, said in a statement released by the league.
"His Roughriders captured the hearts of not only Rider Nation, but Canadians across the country."
Under Chamblin, the Riders finished second in the West Division standings with an 11-7 record, including a franchise-best 8-1 mark to start the season.
He becomes the sixth head coach in Roughriders history to win the award and first since 2007, joining Austin (2007), John Gregory (1989), Joe Faragalli (1981), Eagle Keys (1968) and Steve Owen (1962).
Saskatchewan defeated the B.C. Lions 29-25 in the conference semifinal before qualifying for the Grey Cup by downing Calgary 35-13 in the West Division final.
Before a rabid Mosaic Stadium gathering of 44,710, the Riders beat Hamilton 45-23 to become the third straight club to win the Grey Cup as the host squad.