Swinney named finalist

Now in its fourth year of heralding college football coaches who demonstrate sportsmanship, integrity and responsibility on and off the field, Liberty Mutual Insurance today named Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney one of 10 Football Bowl Subdivision finalists for the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award.

If he wins, Liberty Mutual will award Coach Swinney $50,000 to donate to the charity of his choice and a $20,000 grant to donate to the Clemson alumni association for student scholarships and activities.

Winners will be announced January 6, 2010, in Los Angeles, in advance of the BCS Championship Game.

Swinney led Clemson to the championship of the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference this year, the school's first Atlantic Division title. Clemson has an 8-5 record entering the Gaylord Hotel Music City Bowl against Kentucky. The Tigers finished 6-2 in the Atlantic Division, the most ACC wins for the Tigers since 2003. The eight overall wins are tied for the second most in the nation among coaches in their first full season. Swinney achieved the victory total against a schedule that included four games against top 15 teams. Clemson was one of just four schools that played four top 15 teams this year.

Past winners of the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, including Alabama's Nick Saban (2008), Northern Illinois' Jerry Kill (2007) and Pittsburg State's Chuck Broyles (2008), have used their Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award money to help build homes in local communities, support children in need and even fight terminal diseases.

Including the 2009 winners, Liberty Mutual will have donated nearly $1 million to support dozens of national and local charities and college scholarship funds on behalf of its Coach of the Year Award winners.

"Many passionate fans came out to vote for Coach Swinney because he embodies the college football spirit and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year values," said Greg Gordon, senior vice president of Consumer Marketing at Liberty Mutual. "Coach Swinney has made a great impact on the lives of his student athletes and his community and we are proud to recognize him as a Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year finalist."

Joining Coach Swinney among the 10 finalists for the Football Bowl Subdivision are, in alphabetical order Mack Brown, University of Texas; Pete Carroll, University of Southern California; Al Golden, Temple University; Kirk Ferentz, University of Iowa; Paul Johnson, Georgia Institute of Technology; Brian Kelly, University of Cincinnati; Joe Paterno, Penn State University; Gary Patterson, Texas Christian University; and Nick Saban, University of Alabama.

Between December 15 and December 29 fans can visit www.CoachoftheYear.com to vote among the finalists. Fan votes constitute 20 percent of a coach's final score.

To ensure candidates are evaluated fairly and measured against the specific values of responsibility and integrity, selection committees of College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches – including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott, and Jerry Rice – and the national college football media will also cast votes for the winners. Hall of Fame and media votes account for 55 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

Launched in 2006, Liberty Mutual created the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award to celebrate responsible coaching because it is one of the clearest examples of a positive influence on young people, their families and entire communities. Past winners include 2006 – Greg Schiano (Rutgers); 2007 – Ron Zook (Illinois), Jerry Kill (Southern Illinois), Bill O'Boyle (Chadron State), John Gagliardi (Saint John's); 2008 – Nick Saban (Alabama), Mickey Matthews (James Madison), Chuck Broyles (Pittsburg State), Larry Kehres (Mount Union).

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