HOUSTON – The college football season is heating up and this year’s American Heart Association (AHA) Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards Watch List includes a who’s who lineup of new faces and old favorites. Representing the nation’s best in college football, these coaches will compete for the highly-coveted and final title of the season: the 2018 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year. The winner will be announced live on Jan. 9, 2019 during the awards dinner and ceremony at the Post Oak Hotel in Houston.
Mark Stoops has led Kentucky to a 5-1 record this season and the team’s first national rankings (currently No. 14 AP, No. 17 Coaches) since the 2007 season. The Wildcats are 3-1 in the Southeastern Conference, one-half game behind Florida and Georgia (each 4-1) in the SEC Eastern Division. UK was the Reveal Suits National Team of the Week, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America, following the 27-16 win at Florida that ended the 31-game losing streak vs. the Gators.
The 20 coaches on this year’s Watch List are (in alphabetical order):
Bill Clark, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Mario Cristobal, University of Oregon
Dave Doeren, North Carolina State University
Luke Fickell, University of Cincinnati
Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M University
Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan
Tom Herman, The University of Texas
Josh Heupel, University of Central Florida
Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia University
Brian Kelly, University of Notre Dame
Seth Littrell, University of North Texas
Mike MacIntyre, University of Colorado
Dan Mullen, University of Florida
Ed Orgeron, Louisiana State University
Lincoln Riley, University of Oklahoma
Nick Saban, The University of Alabama
Kirby Smart, The University of Georgia
Dabo Swinney, Clemson University
Mark Stoops, University of Kentucky
Charlie Strong, University of South Florida
The Watch List precedes the announcement of the finalists in December. These coaches are invited to the Bryant Awards in Houston to find out who will be the 2018 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year.
Now in its 33rd year, the award recognizes the country’s top college football coaches for their contributions both on and off the field. The Coach of the Year Award is the only college coaching honor selected after all bowl games are concluded and is voted on by the National Sports Media Association. Last year’s winner, University of Central Florida’s Scott Frost (now at Nebraska), led his team to a conference record of 8 wins and zero losses, an overall record of 13 wins and zero losses, ending the season with a 34 to 27 win over Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. He was also named the American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
Behind the scenes, the award is much bigger than a season’s success. It is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on heart disease and stroke – the nation’s no. 1 and no. 5 health threats. Since the adoption of the name, the Bryant Awards have raised over $8.5 Million for the American Heart Association, funding research, education and advocacy efforts and saving countless lives. “Bear” always talked about being bigger than something other than himself. The Bryant Awards offer an opportunity to do just that — to join the American Heart Association in the fight against heart disease and stroke and help save lives.
Once again this year, sports aficionados can enjoy the Bryant Awards live on FOX College Sports – available through most cable providers. Fans can follow the Watch List coaches, track progress of the awards and be the among the first to know made the finalist list at facebook.com/bryantawards.
Marathon Oil Corporation has served as the presenting sponsor of the Bryant Awards for the past ten years, underscoring the Company’s commitment to health and wellness. The Company strives to partner with local organizations to recognize and advance important public health initiatives in the communities where it operates.
To purchase tickets to the Bryant Awards, contact 832-918-4009 or visit www.bryantawards.org.