The other four finalists are Lloyd Carr, University of Michigan; Chris Peterson, Boise State University; Greg Schiano, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; and Bob Stoops, University of Oklahoma.
The winner will be chosen by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) and named live at an award dinner benefiting the American Heart Association on Thursday, Jan. 11 at the Hilton Americas Hotel in downtown Houston.
Bielema, the second-youngest head coach in the nation, guided the Badgers to their first 11-win regular season in 2006. UW is 11-1 and ranked fifth in the USA Today coaches poll and sixth according to the Associated Press. Bielema is the first rookie head coach in Big Ten history to guide his team to at least 10 victories and is one of just seven coaches in NCAA Division IA history to pilot his squad to 11 wins.