Ohio native George Belu’s 45-year coaching career, including one season as offensive line coach at Ohio State, will be celebrated by the American Football Coaches Association on Monday.
During the awards luncheon in Charlotte, North Carolina, as part of its annual convention, the AFCA will present Belu, 78, with its outstanding achievement award. The award was started in 2003 to recognize primarily long-serving assistant coaches who were part of successful coaching staffs; for example, former OSU defensive line coach Randy Hart, who had an extended career at Washington, was honored in 2016.
“This award is special to me because I am being honored by my peers,” Belu said in a news release announcing the honor. “I was fortunate throughout my career to be associated with great people.
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“All of the head coaches I worked with had great ideals and were great character people, and consequently because of that, all of the coaching staffs and players that I worked with were hard workers with great character because of that leadership.”
Belu was a high school standout in Lorain and played three years at Ohio University, including the unbeaten 1960 season that earned the Bobcats, under coach Bill Hess, the small-college national championship. Belu played three years in the Canadian Football League for Ottawa before entering coaching at Marshall in 1964.
He went on to coach primarily the offensive line — he also served some stints as offensive coordinator — at 10 colleges, including Denison (1968-72), Miami University (’73), Colorado (’74-78), North Carolina State (’79), Louisiana State (’80-83), Indiana (’84-96), Wake Forest (’97-99), Ohio State (2000) and Ohio Dominican (2009) before retiring. From 2001-08 he was a scout for the NFL Arizona Cardinals.
The bulk of his career was spent working under coach Bill Mallory, another Ohio native, at Miami University, Colorado and Indiana. Belu helped Miami to an 11-0 record in 1973, helped Colorado win the Big Eight title in 1976, and with Mallory pulled Indiana off the trash heap of the Big Ten during their 13 seasons with the Hoosiers in which they made six bowl appearances.
“I enjoyed being a coach and had a great career because I feel that I never really worked a day in my life,” Belu said.
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