The voting process for IndyStar Indiana Mr. Football will change starting next season.
The Indiana Football Coaches Association voted at its board meeting Friday to allow all members – coaches and assistant coaches – to have a Mr. Football vote. Previously, an IFCA ratings board of 60 — 10 coaches in each of the six classes –voted for Mr. Football.
Jason Simmons, the Ben Davis coach and assistant executive director for the IFCA, said the ratings board will select the Mr. Football finalists, which will be the top two for each of the Mr. Football position awards. Coaches will then have two or three days to vote electronically for Mr. Football.
“We will leave the all-state meeting and send a ballot out that night or the next morning and then allow 48 or 72 hours to vote,” Simmons said.
The previous voting process had been in place for about 15 years. Simmons said the decision to allow all coaches to vote is to make the process as transparent as possible.
“There is probably no perfect system, but I feel like we have been as progressive as any coaches association in the state,” Simmons said. “If there is a need for a change, we are going to attack it and adjust what we do. We felt like there was a need to change the voting system for Mr. Football.”
The process became a topic of discussion in December when Pioneer’s Jack Kiser, a two-time state champion and Notre Dame recruit, was voted Mr. Football over Warren Central’s David Bell. Kiser had 30 votes to outdistance runner-up Bell of Warren Central’s 17 votes. Kiser was voted Mr. Football on 19 of the 20 ballots from Class A and 2A coaches.
In other news from the IFCA meeting, Simmons said the board is moving forward to further study the possibility of adding eight-man football. Simmons said the Indiana High School Athletic Association has been supportive in preliminary discussions.
“We’re certainly excited about the prospect of increasing opportunity and growing interest in our sport,” Simmons said. “We’re talking to other states that have eight-man football so we can learn more.”
Several Indiana schools played eight-man football in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. Eight-man football is popular in other Midwest states such as Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan and Oklahoma.
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.