The University of North Florida will honor Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley as the recipient of the school’s 2009 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award at the school’s Alumni Homecoming Dinner tonight in Jacksonville, Florida. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the most prestigious honor a UNF graduate can receive from the University of North Florida Alumni Association. Haley earned a degree in Communications from North Florida in ’91.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the University of North Florida,” said Haley, who will accept tonight’s honor in absentia due to the NFL Scouting Combine. “I am truly humbled to receive UNF’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. I hold my education from the University of North Florida in very high regard, and I would be proud if any or all of my children decided to follow in my footsteps someday.”
Entering his 16th season in the National Football League, Haley embarks on his second season with the Chiefs in 2010. Under Haley’s direction in 2009, Kansas City improved in 30 different key statistical categories compared to 2008. The Chiefs offense led the NFL in Red Zone scoring efficiency (89.5%) in 2009, while the club ranked eighth in terms of fewest penalties (84). After ranking 31st in three-and-out percentage on defense in 2008, Haley’s squad ranked eighth in that category in 2009. The Chiefs also ranked 12th in the comprehensive special teams rankings compiled by the Dallas Morning News in 2009 after coming in 29th just one year earlier. Only three teams made a bigger improvement in those special teams rankings than the Chiefs last season.
Prior to his arrival in Kansas City, Haley won division titles as an assistant coach in each of his four previous coaching stops with the N.Y. Jets, Chicago, Dallas and Arizona. As Arizona’s offensive coordinator in 2008, the Cardinals high-powered offense helped lead the club to its first league title game since ’47 as the franchise earned a berth in Super Bowl XLIII.
The University of North Florida has an average enrollment of more than 15,000 students and offers five colleges of distinction: the Coggin College of Business, the Brooks College of Health, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction, as well as the College of Education and Human Services.