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Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during a press conference in the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall in Athens, Ga., on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

ATLANTA (Nov. 19, 2020) – Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl released the midseason watch list for the 2020 Dodd Trophy. The list includes 19 of the nation’s top college football coaches representing six conferences.

The Dodd Trophy, college football’s most coveted coaching award, celebrates the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity – the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s philosophy.

The midseason watch list was created through a selection process by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, taking into consideration each program’s Academic Progress Rate (APR), current performance during the 2020 season and each coach’s commitment to service and charity in the community.

Considering The Dodd Trophy represents more than just a coach’s performance on the field, a coach in his first year, who has not had a full season to establish his own impact on APR and the local community, is not eligible to win.

“It’s been an unprecedented season so far this year and we had to consider a variety of factors when compiling this list,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “At the end of the day, we selected the coaches who we felt truly embody Bobby Dodd’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, both on and off the football field.”

The 2020 Dodd Trophy Midseason Watch List:

Coach School Conference Current AP Ranking: Current Record APR Score:
Tom Allen Indiana Big Ten 9 4-0 969
Matt Campbell Iowa State Big 12 17 5-2 979
Mario Cristobal Oregon Pac-12 11 2-0 968
Paul Chryst Wisconsin Big Ten 10 2-0 986
Ryan Day Ohio State Big Ten 3 3-0 985
Manny Diaz Miami ACC 12 7-1 973
Luke Fickell Cincinnati AAC 7 7-0 990
Jimbo Fisher Texas A&M SEC 5 5-1 965
Pat Fitzgerald Northwestern Big Ten 19 4-0 995
Mike Gundy Oklahoma State Big 12 14 5-1 979
Clay Helton USC Pac-12 20 2-0 970
Tom Herman Texas Big 12 22 5-2 974
Brian Kelly Notre Dame ACC 2 8-0 970
Gus Malzahn Auburn SEC 23 4-2 980
Dan Mullen Florida SEC 6 5-1 974
Lincoln Riley Oklahoma Big 12 18 5-2 965
Nick Saban Alabama SEC 1 6-0 990
Kirby Smart Georgia SEC 13 4-2 969
Dabo Swinney Clemson ACC 4 7-1 993

 

Of the 19 coaches on the midseason watch list, the SEC leads the way with five coaches selected, immediately followed by the Big Ten and Big 12 with four each, the ACC with three, the Pac-12 with two and the American with one. A total of nine coaches on the list remain undefeated going into the 12th week of the season.

This year’s midseason watch list includes three former winners of The Dodd Trophy with Brian Kelly (2018), Nick Saban (2014) and Dabo Swinney (2011) all making the list.

The coaches on the list have collectively appeared in the College Football Playoff 17 times, and have won a total of nine national championships and 27 FBS conference championships. Off the football field and in the classroom, their teams earned an average Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 977 last year.

“The Dodd Trophy is unique from other coach of the year awards considering it looks beyond just wins and losses on the football field,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO & president. “Each of these coaches have had successful seasons to date, but what sets them apart is how they’ve empowered their players in the classroom and impacted their communities in a positive way. All of these coaches on the watch list are strong contenders for this year’s Dodd Trophy and we look forward to seeing who emerges as finalists this last month of the season.”

A panel consisting of previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member will identify the final list of potential recipients at the conclusion of the 2020 season. The winner of the 2020 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during the week of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

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About the Dodd Trophy
The Dodd Trophy was established in 1976 to honor the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1A) head football coach whose program represents the highest ideals on and off the field. The award honors the coach of a team which enjoys a successful football season, while also stressing the importance of academic excellence and character, as did Coach Dodd’s teams during his 22 years as head football coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Coach Dodd remains one of college football’s legendary figures, both as a coach and a player. Coach Dodd was a native of Galax, Virginia, and played his college ball at the University of Tennessee where his team had 27 wins, one loss and two ties during the three years he played. Coach Dodd was selected to the National College Football Hall of Fame both as a coach and as a player. Additional information about the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation can be found at www.TheDoddTrophy.com. For news, updates and insider information, follow us on Twitter at @DoddTrophy or find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/DoddTrophy.

About Peach Bowl, Inc.

Peach Bowl, Inc. operates the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, one of the New Year’s Six Bowls selected to host the College Football Playoff. The Bowl has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the country, with 52 percent of its games being decided by a touchdown or less. Peach Bowl, Inc. has disbursed $280.7 million in team payouts over its 52-year history. Peach Bowl, Inc. also leads all other bowl game organizations in charitable and scholarship contributions, having donated or committed $57.2 million to organizations in need since 2002. Peach Bowl, Inc. also created and manages the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament, manages The Dodd Trophy national coach of the year award and led the relocation and financial foundation of the College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta. For more information, visit Chick-fil-APeachBowl.com or follow us on Twitter at @CFAPeachBowl and find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CFAPeachBowl.

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