A&M’s Jimbo Fisher among 16 coaches named to Dodd Trophy Midseason Watch List

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 3:05 PM CDT
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ATLANTA, Georgia -- Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc. today released the midseason watch list for the 2021 Dodd Trophy presented by PNC. The list includes 16 of the nation’s top college football coaches representing seven conferences and Notre Dame.

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.

The midseason watch list was created through a selection process by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc., taking into consideration each program’s current performance during the 2021 season, Academic Progress Rate (APR), and each coach’s commitment to service and charity in the community.

Considering The Dodd Trophy represents more than just a coach’s performance on the field, a coach in his first year, who has not had a full season to establish his own impact on APR and the local community, is not eligible to win.

“Each of these coaches embody the scholarship, leadership and integrity that Coach Dodd stressed every day of his coaching career,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “This award is more than just winning on the field, and every one of these coaches cares deeply about seeing his players grow and mature as young men, in addition to winning football games. That is what The Dodd Trophy is all about.”

The 2021 Dodd Trophy Midseason Watch List presented by PNC:

Jamey Chadwell - Coastal Carolina (Sun Belt)

Dave Clawson - Wake Forest (ACC)

Mario Cristobal - Oregon (Pac-12)

Ryan Day - Ohio State (Big Ten)

Dave Doeren - NC State (ACC)

Kirk Ferentz - Iowa (Big Ten)

Luke Fickell - Cincinnati (American)

Jimbo Fisher - Texas A&M (SEC)

James Franklin - Penn State (Big Ten)

Jim Harbaugh - Michigan (Big Ten)

Brian Kelly - Notre Dame (Independent)

Lincoln Riley - Oklahoma (Big 12)

Nick Saban - Alabama (SEC)

Kirby Smart - Georgia (SEC)

Mark Stoops - Kentucky (SEC)

Mel Tucker - Michigan State (Big Ten)

Of the 16 coaches on the midseason watch list, the Big Ten leads the way with five selections, followed by the SEC with four representatives and the ACC with two. The American, Big 12, Pac-12 and Sun Belt each have one coach named to the list. A total of six coaches on the list remain undefeated going into the eighth week of the season.

This year’s midseason watch list includes three former winners of The Dodd Trophy with Brian Kelly (2018), Kirk Ferentz (2015) and Nick Saban (2014) being recognized. Additionally, two of the coaches were finalists for last year’s award, including Brian Kelly and Luke Fickell.

This collective group of coaches have appeared in the College Football Playoff 15 times and have gone on to win eight national championships. In the classroom, their teams have earned an average Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 973.

“The Dodd Trophy is truly different from other coach of the year awards, and this list really highlights the level of excellence that it takes to be considered for it,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO & president. “We are excited to see what the rest of the season brings and which of these elite coaches will emerge during the final stretch of the season.”

A panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member will identify a list of finalists at the conclusion of the 2021 season. The winner of the 2021 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during bowl week at this year’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.