Nussmeier Earns Broyles Nomination

There is not much controversy on the Broyles Award. Whereas the Heisman Trophy may come up for discussion, even heated discussion, the winner of the award as the nation's best assistant coach comes without squabble.

Among the nominees this year is Alabama Offensive Coordinator Doug Nussmeier. There are numerous reasons to consider Nussmeier as a favorite for the honor, which was won in 2009 by Crimson Tide Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart.

That is just a slice of the history of the Broyles Award that shows top assistants on national championship teams as being honored. Indeed, current Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn won the award as offensive coordinator of the Tigers in their 2010 national championship season.

Nussmeier would also be considered because Alabama has a very effective offense, second in the Southeastern Conference in scoring. Bama Coach Nick Saban wants a balanced offense, and Nussmeier has delivered. The Crimson Tide averages 211.5 yards per game rushing and 233.3 yards per game passing. Bama has 121 rushing first downs and 124 passing first downs. Touchdowns? Alabama has 25 rushing, 25 passing.

Nussmeier is also the coach of quarterback A.J. McCarron, who is gaining more and more support for the Heisman Trophy.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said, "Doug's done a really good job for us. I think that he does a really good job of teaching the players. I think he does a really good job of communicating with the players. I think he has a good relationship with them. I think that the things that he tries to do and that we try to do and they react and respond very well to him. I think he's become a very good play-caller, and I just think he's done a good job all the way around and we're happy that he had the opportunity to be nominated."

Nussmeier is in his second year as Alabama's quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

The 2013 Broyles Award winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 10 at the Marriott Hotel in Little Rock. The award, named in honor of longtime Arkansas Coach Frank Broyles, is presented by The Rotary Club of Little Rock.

Bob Diaco, Notre Dame defensive coordinator, won last year, just before the Crimson Tide offense hung 42 on the Fighting Irish in the BCS National Championship Game.

The first winner in 1996 was Mickey Andrews, longtime defensive coordinator at Florida State and a former Tide player.

David Cutcliffe, an Alabama graduate who coached as an assistant for many years at Tennessee and also was head coach at Ole Miss and is now head coach at Duke, won it in 1998 when he was offensive coordinator for the Vols.

Among other candidates for the award this year is Jeremy Pruitt, defensive coordinator at Florida State. Pruitt was on the Alabama staff as safeties coach until last January.

South Carolina Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward is a Broyles candidate. He was a safety at Alabama 1987-90.

Chris Thurmond, who was secondary coach under Dennis Franchione at Alabama in 2001-02, is now defensive coordinator at Rice, and he's a candidate this year.

Also from the Southeastern Conference, Cam Cameron at LSU has gotten most credit of any coordinator for the improvement he has made to Les Miles' team.

John Henson, offensive coordinator at surprising Missouri, is a nominee.

Auburn has nominted Rhett Lashlee, who has the title of offensive coordinator, even though most consider Malzahn to be his own offensive coordinator

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