Swinney named Bryant Coach of the Year finalist


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HOUSTON -- American Heart Association (AHA) and title sponsor Marathon Oil Corporation announced today a powerhouse lineup of finalists for the 2016 Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year Award. Representing the country's finest college football coaches, award nominees include: Paul Chryst (Wisconsin), P.J. Fleck (Western Michigan), James Franklin (Penn State), Clay Helton (USC), Dana Holgorsen (West Virginia), Mike MacIntyre (Colorado), Nick Saban (Alabama), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma) and Dabo Swinney (Clemson). The winner will be announced live on Jan. 11, 2017 during the awards banquet in Houston at the Toyota Center.

These finalists join an elite group of coaches recognized for their distinguished leadership on and off the field. The American Heart Association's Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year Award is the only college coaching honor presented after all bowl games are concluded. It is voted on by the National Sports Media Association, formerly known as National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and has honored many of the game's greatest leaders, including Clemson's Dabo Swinney in 2016.

College football fans can prep for bowl game season by following these finalists and the #bryantawards play-by-play at facebook.com/bryantawards.

Barry Alvarez, athletic director and former head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be the recipient of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. Previous award winners include Mack Brown (2016), Jimmy Johnson (2015), R.C. Slocum (2014) and LaVell Edwards (2013), who now take their place in history beside legends like Bryant.

Since 1986, the Bryant Awards have raised more than $7 million to fund AHA research, advocacy and educational programs across the country aimed at the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Prior to his death of a heart attack in 1983, "Bear" always talked about being bigger than something other than himself and the Bryant Award offers an opportunity to do just that – to be a part of Team Bryant in the fight against cardiovascular diseases.

Marathon Oil Corporation has served as the presenting sponsor of the Bryant Awards for the past eight years, underscoring the Company's commitment to health and wellness and supporting initiatives that promote the well-being of workers and their families both on and off the job. The Company also values the communities in which its employees live and work, and strives to partner with local community leaders to recognize and advance important public health initiatives that promote the common good and protect the public.

Fans who can't experience the Bryant Awards in person will have two new options to stay in the game. Support the American Heart Association by taking part in the online silent auction, available for bidding online now. Notable auction packages include: Four Master's Practice Round Golf Tickets, Viking River Grand European Cruise, Anvik River Lodge Alaska Fishing Trip, FOX Sports Studio Experience, St. Louis Cardinals Game Experience and more. Fans can also now enter the Toyota Trophy Tour Sweepstakes for the chance to win the grand prize that includes airfare, hotel accommodations, a stylish Toyota rental and two tickets to the Bryant Awards in Houston by registering at www.toyotatrophytour.com. Deadline to enter the Sweepstakes is Jan. 1, 2017.

For the second time in its history, sports aficionados can enjoy the Bryant Awards live on FOX College Sports – available through most cable providers.

To purchase tickets to the Bryant Awards, please contact 832-918-4009 or visit www.bryantawards.com.

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