Reffett has transformed the ULM defense in just one season to one of the best in the Sun Belt Conference and the NCAA. Under Reffett's guidance the Warhawks rank 17th in the NCAA allowing teams to rush for just 102.8 yards per game. It is an improvement of 117.9 yards from a season ago when ULM ranked 112th in the nation against the run.
He is the only Sun Belt Conference coach and the only coach from a school in the state of Louisiana to be nominated. The five finalists will be announced on Monday and the winner will be announced on Dec. 8.
The Warhawks have jumped 54 spots in the national rankings in pass efficiency defense, 56 spots in total defense and 25 spots in scoring defense from a year ago. ULM ranks in the top three in the Sun Belt in nine different statistical categories and ULM players rank among the top 10 in 12 different categories.
The Reffett led defense is one of the best in the country at limiting the big play having allowed just seven rushes of over 20 yards this season, which ranks 15th in the NCAA. The 26.4 points per game allowed by the Warhawks this season is the second lowest output by a ULM defense in 17 years.
Safety Greg James and linebacker Cardia Jackson became the Sun Belt Conference's all-time leaders in interceptions and tackles, respectively, this season. James leads all active players in the NCAA with 16 career interceptions, while Jackson ranks second with 222 career solo tackles and third with 373 career total tackles.
With Reffett's 3-3-5 defensive scheme in place, defensive end Aaron Morgan has matured into one of the best pass rushers in the conference and country. He ranks 17th in the NCAA in tackles for loss and 18th in sacks, while leading the Sun Belt in sacks and ranking second in tackles for loss. Sophomore safety Darius Prelow has developed under Reffett's leadership and ranks seventh in the NCAA with 12 pass break ups.
ULM goes for its seventh win of the season, a possible bowl berth and the first undefeated season at home in school history on Saturday. The Warhawks host Middle Tennessee at 3:30 p.m. in Malone Stadium in a game televised by the Sun Belt Network.