Thursday, December 25, 2014

O'Brien named to watch list for Bryant Coach of the Year award

Penn State coach Bill O’Brien has been named to the watch list for the Paul Bear Bryant Coach of the Year award.

O'Brien named to watch list for Bryant Coach of the Year award

Penn State head coach Bill O´Brien watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in West Lafayette, Ind. (Darron Cummings/AP)
Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in West Lafayette, Ind. (Darron Cummings/AP)

Penn State coach Bill O’Brien has been named to the watch list for the Paul Bear Bryant Coach of the Year award.

O’Brien, in his first season with the Nittany Lions, is one of 18 coaches named to the watch list for the honor, which will be awarded for the 27th time.

The Lions have a 6-4 record going into Saturday’s home game against Indiana but O’Brien also has had to work hard off the field in stabilizing the program in the wake of the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the resulting NCAA sanctions.

O’Brien is one of three watch list candidates – Duke’s David Cutcliffe and Boise State’s Chris Petersen are the others – who coach a team currently unranked in the Associated Press poll or the BCS standings.

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A group of five to 10 finalists will be named in early December. All will be invited to the Jan. 17 dinner in Houston at which the winner of the honor will be announced. Voting is done by members of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

The award is sponsored by the American Heart Association and Marathon Oil.

--Joe Juliano

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be John Stuetz, an intern for The Inquirer and senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism and marketing. This is John's third season covering the Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A native of Glenside, Montgomery County, John graduated from Cheltenham High School.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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