Nov. 9, 2006
University of Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino was one of 10 finalists for the inaugural Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, which honors the college football coach who best exemplifies responsibility and excellence on and off the field of play.
The candidates are, in alphabetical order: Mack Brown (Texas), Lloyd Carr (Michigan), Danny Hale (Bloomsburg), Bobby Petrino (Louisville), Greg Schiano (Rutgers), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Jeff Tedford (California), Mel Tjeerdsma (Northwest Missouri State), Jim Tressel (Ohio State) and Tommy Tuberville (Auburn).
Petrino has guided the Cardinals to an 8-0 record in 2006 and has U of L ranked third in the nation heading into Thursday night's game with Rutgers. Petrino has led the Cardinals to their first 8-0 start since 1925.
"More than a quarter-million fan votes were cast and nearly 80,000 fan testimonials were submitted supporting hundreds of coaches from every level of NCAA competition. We think each finalist embodies what makes this award different than any other: responsibility - not only to his own team and players, but also to his institution and in society," said Paul Condrin, Liberty Mutual president, Personal Markets. "Honoring responsible coaching is a celebration of the positive influence sports coaches - at every level - can have on young people, their families and entire communities."
Selected based on professional competence and achievement in 2006, commitment to the well-being and development of student-athletes, high ethical standards, and civic and charitable stewardship, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year will receive $100,000 to support civic and charitable activities. In addition, Liberty Mutual will grant $20,000 in scholarship to the alumni association of the winning coach's school.
Each of the 10 finalists scored in the top 20 percent of the online fan vote within his division during the first phase of competition (September 8 - November 6). The public can again log onto www.coachoftheyear.com through November 20 to review bios and fan testimonials
supporting each candidate and vote for their selection for the award winner, which will be revealed on December 16, 2006.
These 10 finalists will be profiled on the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Finalist Show hosted by Keith Jackson on ABC December 9 (2-3 p.m. EST, 4-5 p.m. PST), and the winner will be presented the award on the December 16 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Presentation on ABC (2-3 p.m. EST, 3-4 p.m. PST) hosted by Jackson and ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit.
"From my vantage point in covering college football games across the country, I have the opportunity to watch these coaches execute their game plans, interact with referees and players, and meet the people they influence in their communities," said Herbstreit. "These programs will give fans a peek inside the lives of some truly remarkable men who use their role to make a positive impact on so many, both on and off the field."
In addition to the finalists-phase fan vote, the 10 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year candidates will be judged against the award criteria by an elite selection committee comprised of reputable College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches, national college football media, and Liberty Mutual representatives.
Media voters include: Colin Cowherd (ESPN Radio), Keith Jackson (ABC Sports, retired), Dan Jenkins (Sports Illustrated/College Football Hall of Fame historian), Stewart Mandel (CNN-SI.com), Tim Brando (CBS Sports, Sporting News Radio), Craig Bennett (USA Today), Ivan Maisel (ESPN.com), Teddy Greenstein (Chicago Tribune), Bill King (Rivals Sports Network/Sirius Radio), and Bud Withers (Seattle Times). Hall of Fame voters include: Terry Donohue, LaVell Edwards, Archie Griffin, Bo Jackson, Ron Johnson (Chair, National Football Foundation), Gordie Lockbaum, Archie Manning, Tom Osborne, Bo Schembechler, Jim Sochor, and Herschel Walker.
Fans that go online to vote also can enter a sweepstakes drawing to win a trip for four to the 93rd Rose Bowl Game® in Pasadena, Calif., on January 1, 2007. Fans may vote daily, although will only be permitted one sweepstakes entry per email address.