In the 1960s, Alabama Coach Paul Bryant and Arkansas Coach Frank Broyles would send promising young coaches to one another as graduate assistants. Men such as Bill Battle, Richard Williamson, and Jackie Sherrill who had finished their playing careers with the Crimson Tide would head off to Fayetteville to get a different slant on football coaching, while former Razorbacks would head to Tuscaloosa.
Many of those who took part in the Alabama-Arkansas exchange went on to become head coaches.
Today the Broyles Award honors college football's top assistant coach. The award was established in 1996 to recognize legendary head football Coach Frank Broyles. Coach Broyles had a track record of producing some of the most successful assistant coaches in college football history.
Among previous winners from Alabama who have gone on to be head coaches is Kirby Smart, now at Georgia.
Other finalists from Bama have included Joe Kines and Sal Sunseri.
This year one of the 40 nominees is Alabama’s first-year Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who replaced Smart on Coach Nick Saban’s staff. Pruitt was previously a nominee while serving as defensive coordinator at Florida State.
An 18-member selection committee will select five finalists from the list of nominees and an overall winner. Those finalists will be invited to travel to Little Rock, Arkansas where the 2016 Broyles Award winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 6 at 1 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel.
This year marks the first time the Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation has presented the award. Proceeds from the 2016 Broyles Award will go to support the mission of the Broyles Foundation; to educate, support, and connect with Alzheimer's caregivers.
"Every year the job of our selection committee is extremely difficult as they work to select the top five assistant coaches in America and an overall winner," said Betsy Broyles Arnold, Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation President. "We are very proud of the outstanding job assistant coaches continue to do across the country."
The winner of the 2015 Broyles Award was Lincoln Riley, University of Oklahoma.
The 40 nominees in this year's class were chosen from almost 1,500 assistant coaches representing over 128 Division One college football programs. Below is the full list of nominees for this year's Broyles Award:
- Alabama - Jeremy Pruitt, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Arkansas State - Joe Cauthen, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Army West Point - Jay Bateman, Defensive Coordinator
- Auburn - Kevin Steele, Defensive Coordinator
- Boise State - Scott Huff, Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive
- Washington State - Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator/Secondary
- Brigham Young - Ed Lamb, Special Team Coordinator/Safeties
- Clemson - Brent Venables, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Colorado - Jim Leavitt, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Colorado State - Will Friend, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
- Georgia Southern - Chad Lunsford, Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends
- Houston - Todd Orlando - Defensive Coordinator
- Indiana - Tom Allen, Defensive Coordinator
- Iowa State - Tom Manning, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
- Louisiana Tech - Todd Fitch, Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers
- LSU - Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator
- Miami - Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Michigan - Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Missouri - Glen Elarbee, Offensive Line
- Navy - Ivan Jasper, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
- Nebraska - Trent Bray, Linebackers
- North Carolina - Larry Porter, Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs
- North Carolina State - Ryan Nielsen, Defensive Line
- Oklahoma State - Mike Yurcich, Coordinator/Quarterbacks
- Old Dominion - Brian Scott, Offensive Coordinator
- Ole Miss - Matt Luke, Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
- Ohio State - Kerry Coombs, Special Teams Coordinator/Cornerbacks
- Penn State - Joe Moorhead, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
- Pittsburgh - Matt Canada, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
- South Carolina - Travaris Robinson, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
- Stanford - Mike Bloomgren, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
- Temple - Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
- Troy - Matt Moore, Co-Offensive Coordinator
- UCF - Erik Chinander, Defensive Coordinator
- USC - Clancy Pendergast, Defensive Coordinator
- Wake Forest - Mike Elko, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
- Western Kentucky - Tony Levine, Co-Offensive Coordinator/Special Teams Coordinator
- Western Michigan - Kirk Ciarrocca, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
- West Virginia - Tony Gibson, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Wisconsin - Justin Wilcox, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers