Last week, the Golden Rams football team received a pair of prestigious honors, as Head Coach Bill Zwaan and senior linebacker Lateef Ferguson earned postseason awards.Zwaan, in his fourth year as head coach of the Golden Rams was named the 2007 PSAC Eastern Coach of The Year. Following West Chester’s 9-2 record in the regular season, the Golden Rams advanced into the playoffs for a school record fourth consecutive year. Zwaan and Co. also shored up the school’s second East Division championship during his tenure this season as well.
“I think I’m fortunate enough to have a great staff here. I’d like to think of this as the staff of the year, and not just a coach of the year award,” Zwaan said. “And of course this is a reflection on how well our team has done this year. Very rarely do you earn coach of the year if your team doesn’t do well and we have a lot of great players so to me, I am really looking at this as an honor that’s shared across our entire program, and that’s just a way of saying that we were the football program of the year in the conference.”
Also earning all conference recognition is Ferguson, who was named the PSAC East Defensive player of the year for the second year in a row. The senior captain from Philadelphia finished the season with a conference leading 106 tackles. Ferguson also notched two sacks and has been a key locker room leader on this team throughout his entire career.
“On top of being a great player, [Lateef’s] a great kid and it’s a joy being around him every day,” West Chester defensive coordinator Mike Furlong said.
This has truly been a career year for Ferguson, who surpassed former Golden Ram and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Lee Woodall as the school’s all time leading tackler. In addition, the senior became the first player in WCU history to notch over 400 tackles in a career.
“Lateef’s individual accomplishments are legendary,” Zwaan said. “People are going to be talking about Lateef Ferguson for a long time and that’s exciting.”
In addition to Zwaan and Ferguson receiving post season PSAC awards, several Golden Rams were selected to the All-PSAC East team.
All told, West Chester has eight representatives on the first team offensive and defensive All-PSAC East teams. Offensively Bill Zwaan Jr., Kennis Jones, Kevin O’Neal, Osagie Osunde, and Mike Washington represent the Golden Rams. They are joined on the defensive side of the ball by Ferguson, and fellow senior Mike Mignogno, along with Mike Walter.
Earning second team honors are Ryan Devlin, Travis Ford-Bey, Vlad Garbovsky, Mike Dell, Alex Walsh and Kevin Garland.
Matt Lombardo is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at ML606516@wcupa.edu