MONTREAL, Jan. 7, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FieldTurf and Howie Long announced the winners of its inaugural Football Awards for the 2008 season today. The awards will be formally presented during the American Football Coaches Convention in Nashville on January 11th. Award winners were named in 11 different categories and are based on tabulated votes from Howie Long and FieldTurf Tarkett executives, which includes a group of former NFL stars.



 This year's winners are:

 NFL Coach of the Year - Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans (TN)
 NFL Team of the Year - Tennessee Titans (TN)
 NCAA Division 1-A Coach of the Year - Mike Leach, Texas Tech
  University (TX)
 NCAA Division 1-A Team of the Year - University of Florida (FL)
 NCAA Division 1-AA Coach of the Year - Andy Talley, Villanova
  University (PA)
 NCAA Division 2 Coach of the Year - Chuck Martin, Grand Valley
  State (MI)
 NCAA Division 3 Coach of the Year - Larry Kehres, Mount Union (OH)
 CFL Team of the Year - Calgary Stampeders (AB)
 NAIA Team of the Year - Carroll College (MT)
 Junior College Team of the Year - Snow College (UT)
 National High School Team of the Year - St. Thomas Aquinas High
  School (FL)

JEFF FISHER, Tennessee Titans (NFL Coach of the Year) -- Jeff Fisher led the Titans to a first place finish in the AFC South cementing a great regular season and locking up a first round bye. Fisher's squad will host an AFC Divisional Playoff game at LP Field on January 10 against Baltimore -- and has made believers out of those who doubted the 2008-09 success of his team.

TENNESSEE TITANS (NFL Team of the Year) -- Gaining the top seed in the AFC South is no easy task. The Titans surprised the football world this year with their quiet confidence and abilities to make the big plays when it counted. Without a doubt, this year's NFL Team of the Year.

MIKE LEACH, Texas Tech University (NCAA Division 1-A Coach of the Year) -- One of the most innovative coaches in the country, Mike Leach has not only transformed Texas Tech Football, but also the face of college football with an all-out aerial assault. The Red Raiders' 11-1 record in 2008 (their only loss coming to Oklahoma) including a scoring differential of over 200, earns Mike Leach this year's Division 1A Coach of the Year honors.

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA (NCAA Division 1-A Team of the Year) -- With 1 loss in 2008, a 31-30 heartbreaker to Ole Miss, the Gators continue to enjoy a tremendous amount of success. Their 31-20 victory over a tough Alabama squad in the SEC Championship game, coupled with their impressive scoring output, makes the Gators this year's Division 1A Team of the Year.

ANDY TALLEY, Villanova University (NCAA Division 1-AA Coach of the Year) -- Andy Talley is the all-time winningest football coach in Villanova history. His overall record also makes him one of the winningest coaches in the country. A 10-3 record in 2008 and 1-1 record in the Division 1 Football Championship Series (a convincing win against Colgate and a tough loss to James Madison) has earned Andy the 2008 Coach of the Year award.

CHUCK MARTIN, Grand Valley State (NCAA Division 2 Coach of the Year) -- Martin has guided GVSU to a 61-5 mark in his five years, with two NCAA DII National Championships (2005-2006), four straight Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and five consecutive NCAA DII Playoff appearances. With a potent offense, Martin led GVSU to an 11-1 record in 2008 including a double overtime loss to Minnesota Duluth on November 29 in one of the more exciting games played this season. Martin's coaching abilities and his record speaks for itself.

LARRY KEHRES, Mount Union (NCAA Division 3 Coach of the Year) -- Hired prior to the 1986 season, he has the highest winning percentage of any head coach in modern college football history. He is the winningest active coach in terms of percentage in NCAA history. Through the end of the 2008 season, coach Kehres has a record of 275 wins, 21 losses and 3 ties. The Purple Raiders went 15-0 this season capping off yet another perfect season.

CALGARY STAMPEDERS (CFL Team of the Year) -- With star quarterback Henry Burris, CFL rushing champion Joffrey Reynolds and top receiver Kenyon Rambo keying a great offence, the Stampeders posted the league's best regular-season record and won the West Division. Overlooked by voters in the CFL's end-of-year awards, the Stamps beat the Alouettes -- at Montreal's Olympic Stadium -- to win the Grey Cup.

CARROLL COLLEGE (NAIA Team of the Year) -- Despite a loss to the Sioux Falls Cougars in the 2008 NAIA Championship game, the Saints went 13-0 in 2008 with some thrilling victories -- they have taken home NAIA titles in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2007.

SNOW COLLEGE (Junior College Team of the Year) -- An 11-0 record during the season in 2008 with some of the most impressive point totals ever seen, makes the Snow Badgers an easy choice for this year's award. Head Coach Steve Coburn possesses the best winning percentage in Snow College history.

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS HIGH SCHOOL (National High School Team of the Year) -- The Raiders dominated the 5A District 16 league and more than deserved their birth in the state finals against Lakeland and their 2008 national championship. They have become a regular powerhouse in Florida often winning games by wide margins.

FieldTurf is far and away the industry leader with 21 of the NFL's 32 teams currently using FieldTurf at their stadiums and/or practice facilities. The latest NFLPA survey ranked the FieldTurf at Qwest Field 2nd overall -- ahead of 18 of the 19 grass surfaces in the NFL. For the third consecutive survey, the FieldTurf in Seattle ranked in the top five. Every single FieldTurf field gained positions over their rankings from the previous survey -- a true testament to the durability of the FieldTurf system and the reason why FieldTurf consistently outperforms all other synthetic turf brands. From FieldTurf's first high profile installation at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium in 1997, FieldTurf has become the #1 choice in Division 1 football -- with 38 stadiums and 32 practice fields. FieldTurf is also installed at 300 other universities and community colleges from coast-to-coast.

FieldTurf Tarkett
Jason Smollett
(800) 724-2969