Dabo Swinney named on Dodd Trophy watch list

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ATLANTA (July 19, 2017) – Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl today released the preseason watch list for the 2017 Dodd Trophy. The list includes 19 of the nation’s top college football coaches representing all Power 5 conferences and the American Athletic Conference.

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 watch list was created through a selection process by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, taking into consideration each program’s graduation rate, commitment to service and charity in the community, projected success for the 2017 season and Academic Progress Rate (APR).

“The Dodd Trophy is unique in the sense it looks beyond rankings, wins or losses,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “This is the most-coveted coach of the year award because it measures the overall impact these coaches have on their players and their communities. It includes a select group of individuals who embody the principles Bobby Dodd himself adhered to, such as leadership and integrity.”

“This list represents some of the most renowned and respected names in the game,” said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Chairman Percy Vaughn. “We look forward to seeing how the season unfolds and which of these coaches set themselves apart from the rest of the pack, both on and off the field.”

The coaches on the preseason watch list were selected based on their success on and off the field.

Paul Chryst


Big Ten

James Franklin

Penn State

Big Ten

Justin Fuente

Virginia Tech


Mike Gundy

Oklahoma State

Big 12

Jim Harbaugh


Big Ten

Clay Helton



Paul Johnson

Georgia Tech


Butch Jones



Gus Malzahn



Jim McElwain



Urban Meyer

Ohio State

Big Ten

Ken Niumatalolo



Chris Petersen



Mark Richt



Nick Saban



David Shaw



Bill Snyder

Kansas State

Big 12

Dabo Swinney



Kyle Whittingham



Of the 19 coaches on the watch list, five are previous winners of The Dodd Trophy, including Bill Snyder (1998 & 2012), Chris Petersen (2010), Paul Johnson (2004), Dabo Swinney (2011) and Nick Saban (2014). Additionally, three of the coaches were finalists for last year’s award, including Paul Chryst, Ken Niumatalolo and Chris Petersen. The ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC all tied for the highest number of representatives on this year’s list with four coaches from each respective conference.

Additional watch lists – adding to or narrowing the field – will be released throughout the fall. A panel consisting of all 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 2017 season. The winner of the 2017 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Week.

Starting in September, the Dodd Coach of the Week Award will also be presented weekly to the coach whose program embodies the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, while also having success on the playing field during the previous week.

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