Liberty Mutual Insurance has announced the 25 finalists for the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year. Spread across all four divisions of NCAA college football, the 25 coaches were selected via fan voting at CoachOfTheYear.com, as well as (per a National Football Foundation statement) "an objective scoring model endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame."
"Each coach was among the top 15 in fan votes in his division to qualify for the model, which considers, among other criteria: wins, team penalties, on-field sportsmanship, academic achievement by the student-athletes, and commitment to charitable endeavors," according to the statement.
"Each of the 25 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year finalists is an example of what it means to be a true leader both on and off the field," said Archie Manning, Chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. Manning spoke to our Eye on NFL Pick-Six Podcast about the award and other topics.
Fans that visit CoachOfTheYear.com can vote daily for their favorite coach between now and Dec. 22. The four winners will be announced the morning of the BCS championship game.
The finalists are:
Football Bowl Subdivision:Each winner will receive a $50,000 donation from Liberty Mutual to the charity or charities of his choice, as well as a $20,000 scholarship grant in their name to their school's alumni association. So, seriously, college football fans: don't forget to vote.
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State University
Brady Hoke, University of Michigan
Mark Hudspeth, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Mike London, University of Virginia
Les Miles, Louisiana State University
Bobby Petrino, University of Arkansas
Mark Richt, University of Georgia
Nick Saban, University of Alabama
Bill Snyder, Kansas State University
Dabo Swinney, Clemson University
Football Championship Subdivision:
Rob Ambrose, Towson University (Md.)
Rob Ash, Montana State University
Tom Gilmore, College of the Holy Cross (Mass.)
Jerry Moore, Appalachian State University
Chris Mussman, University of North Dakota
Tim Beck, Pittsburg State University (Kan.)
Bill Maskill, Midwestern State University (Texas)
Peter Rossomando, University of New Haven (Conn.)
Scott Underwood, St. Cloud State University (Minn.)
John Wristen, Colorado State University-Pueblo
Glenn Caruso, University of St. Thomas (Minn.)
Keith Emery, Western New England University
Steve Johnson, Bethel University (Minn.)
Lance Leipold, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Stan Zweifel, University of Dubuque (Iowa)