This year’s finalists for the prestigious Coach of the Year award were Nick Saban, Les Miles (LSU), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), and Kevin Sumlin (Houston). The award was established in 2009 and is presented by the Over The Mountain Touchdown Club of Birmingham. Recipients are voted by The National Sports Writers and Sports Broadcasters of America.
The award was named in honor of retired Florida State coach Bobby Bowden in recognition of his lifetime achievements, and created by the Touchdown Club in conjunction with the Alabama Sports Foundation. Between the two of them, Bobby Bowden (1993, 1999) and Nick Saban (2003, 2009, 2011) have won five national championships. Bowden and Saban’s father were friends in West Virginia. At the 2010 award ceremony, Coach Saban said of Bowden:
"It's not always what you did, but it's more important who you are, and there's no one in our profession-- or anyone that I know as a person-- that I have more respect for than I do Bobby Bowden and the great coach that he's been and the great person that he's been."
The trophy presentation will be held March 4, 2012, at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham.
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