December 2, 1999
Release: Upon Receipt


GREENVILLE -- Furman head coach Bobby Johnson, senior free safety John Keith, and senior offensive guard Ben Hall have been tabbed by Southern Conference head coaches as recipients of three of the league's top five individual awards for the 1999 season, it was announced today.

Johnson was selected as conference coach-of-the-year, Keith as defensive player-of-the-year, and Hall as recipient of the league's Jacobs Blocking Award.

Johnson's selection as coach-of-the-year followed a 1999 season that saw Furman post a 9-3 record, claim a share of the Southern Conference title, and advance to the NCAA I-AA playoffs. Among the Paladins' wins were a 35-21 triumph over nationally third-ranked Appalachian State and a 28-3 victory over North Carolina. A Columbia, S.C., native and 1973 Clemson graduate, Johnson, who last week was tabbed conference coach-of-the-year by the league's media, has compiled a 39-30 record in six seasons as head coach at Furman. He is the sixth Furman coach to earn conference coach-of-the-year accolades.

Keith's pick as conference defensive player-of-the-year followed his selection last week by league media as its defensive player-of-the-year. Keith, a product of Newnan, Ga., paced Furman with 132 tackles. He also recorded three interceptions and was twice named league defensive player-of-the-week after helping Furman to its best season since 1990. Keith is the fifth Furman player to garner league defensive player-of-the-year honors since the honor was established in 1986.

Hall's selection as Jacobs Blocking Award winner is the first for a Furman player since 1990. A Royston, Ga., product, Hall recorded winning performances in 32 of 35 career starts and helped the Paladins average 424.3 yards and 36.0 points per game this year. He is the ninth Paladin to capture the league Jacobs Blocking Award since the honor was established in 1933 by Dr. William P. Jacobs II of Clinton, S.C.