Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl today released the preseason watch list for the 2016 Dodd Trophy. The list includes 24 of the nation’s top college football coaches representing all Power 5 conferences, Notre Dame 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.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy was one of the head coaches selected on the watch list. Gundy, who has won both the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award and the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, is 94-47 in his 11-year tenure at his alma mater and has led the Cowboys to a record 10 bowl games in a row. He has produced 17 All-Americans, 18 NFL Draft selections including six first round picks, and six Big 12 Players of the Year with four on special teams and one each on offense and defense. Gundy has led OSU to four double-digit win seasons including the school's first ever 11-win and 12-win seasons.
The coaches on the preseason watch list were selected based on their success on and off the field.
COACH / SCHOOL / CONFERENCE
Paul Chryst, Wisconsin, Big Ten
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State, Big Ten
Larry Fedora, UNC, ACC
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa, Big Ten
Jimbo Fisher, FSU, ACC
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State, Big 12
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan, Big Ten
Mark Helfrich, Oregon, Pac-12
Clay Helton, USC, Pac-12
Tom Herman, Houston, American
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame, Independent
Jim McElwain, Florida, SEC
Urban Meyer, Ohio State, Big Ten
Les Miles, LSU, SEC
Jim Mora, UCLA, Pac-12
Gary Patterson, TCU, Big 12
Chris Petersen, Washington, Pac-12
Nick Saban, Alabama, SEC
David Shaw, Stanford, Pac-12
Kirby Smart, Georgia, SEC
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma, Big 12
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M, SEC
Dabo Swinney, Clemson, ACC
Kyle Whittingham, Utah, Pac-12
Of the 24 coaches on the list, six are previous winners of The Dodd Trophy, including Bob Stoops (2003), Gary Patterson (2009), Chris Petersen (2010), Dabo Swinney (2011), Nick Saban (2014) and Kirk Ferentz (2015). Four of the coaches were finalists for last year’s award, including Mark Dantonio, Jim McElwain, David Shaw and Dabo Swinney.
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 2016 season and Academic Progress Rate (APR).
Additional watch lists – adding to or narrowing the field – will be released throughout the fall. The winner of the 2016 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. A panel consisting of all previous Dodd Trophy 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 2016 season.
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.