2017 Dodd Trophy Midseason Watch List Released

Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl released the midseason watch list for the 2017 Dodd Trophy. The list includes 20 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 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, taking into consideration each program’s graduation rate, commitment to service and charity in the community, current performance during the 2017 season and Academic Progress Rate (APR).

Of the 20 coaches on the midseason watch list, the Big Ten leads the way with five coaches, followed by the ACC (4), Pac-12 (3), Big 12, SEC and AAC (2), Mountain West (1) and Notre Dame. Seven of the 20 coaches remain undefeated going into week eight.

“We are only halfway through the college football season, and we have already seen major shakeups and stiff competition throughout all of the conferences,” said Jim Terry, Chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundations. “With an abundance of coaching talent throughout all of college football, this year’s midseason watch list exemplifies coaches who have stood out on the field, strived for academic excellence and immersed their teams in the local community.”

The 2017 Dodd Trophy Midseason Watch List:

Coach School Conference Current AP Ranking Current Record Past Winner
Paul Chryst Wisconsin Big Ten No. 5 6-0  
Mark Dantonio Michigan State Big Ten No. 18 5-1  
Dave Doeren N.C. State ACC  No. 16  6-1  
James Franklin Penn State Big Ten  No. 2  6-0  
Scott Frost UCF AAC  No. 20  5-0  
Justin Fuente Virginia Tech ACC  No. 14  5-1  
Mike Gundy Oklahoma State Big 12  No. 10  5-1  
Jim Harbaugh Michigan Big Ten  No. 19  5-1  
Clay Helton USC Pac-12  No. 11  6-1  
Brian Kelly Notre Dame Independent  No. 13  5-1  
Mike Leach Washington State Pac-12  No. 15  6-1  
Rocky Long San Diego State Mountain West    6-1  
Urban Meyer Ohio State Big Ten  No. 6  6-1  
Ken Niumatalolo Navy AAC    5-1  
Gary Patterson TCU Big 12  No. 4  6-0  2009 Winner
Chris Petersen Washington Pac-12  No. 12  6-1  2010 Winner
Mark Richt Miami ACC  No. 8  5-0  
Nick Saban Alabama SEC  No. 1  7-0  2014 Winner
Kirby Smart Georgia SEC  No. 3  7-0  
Dabo Swinney Clemson ACC  No. 7  6-1  2011 Winner

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 coach on this midseason watch list is extremely talented and has caught our attention through the first part of the season,” said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Chairman Percy Vaughn. “It’s a highly competitive field, and we look forward to seeing which coaches separate themselves from the rest of the pack the next few weeks.”

This year’s midseason watch list includes four former winners of the Dodd Trophy with Gary Patterson (2009), Chris Petersen (2010), Nick Saban (2014) and Dabo Swinney (2001) all making the list. Additionally, three of the coaches were finalists for last year’s award, including Paul Chryst, Ken Niumatalolo and Chris Petersen. Two coaches, Gary Patterson and Mike Leach, have already received Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week honors this 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 the final list of potential recipients at the conclusion of the 2017 season. The winner of the 2017 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Week.


About the Dodd Trophy
The Dodd Trophy was established in 1976 to honor the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1A) head football coach whose program represents the highest ideals on and off the field. The award honors the coach of a team which enjoys a successful football season, while also stressing the importance of academic excellence and character, as did Coach Dodd’s teams during his 22 years as head football coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Coach Dodd remains one of college football’s legendary figures, both as a coach and a player. Coach Dodd was a native of Galax, Virginia, and played his college ball at the University of Tennessee where his team had 27 wins, one loss and two ties during the three years he played. Coach Dodd was selected to the National College Football Hall of Fame both as a coach and as a player. Additional information about the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation can be found at www.TheDoddTrophy.com. For news, updates and insider information, follow us on Twitter at @DoddTrophy or find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/DoddTrophy.

About Peach Bowl, Inc.
Peach Bowl, Inc. operates the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, one of the New Year’s Six Bowls selected to host the College Football Playoff. This season, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is celebrating its Golden Season, including its 50-year history of traditions and successes as the nation’s ninth-oldest bowl organization. The Bowl has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the country, with 51 percent of its games being decided by a touchdown or less. Peach Bowl, Inc. has disbursed $160 million in team payouts over its 50-year history and has increased team payout every year since 1996. The Bowl also leads all other bowl game organizations in charitable and scholarship contributions, giving more than $21 million to organizations in need since 2002. Peach Bowl, Inc. also runs the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament and manages The Dodd Trophy national coach of the year award. For more information, visit Chick-fil-APeachBowl.com or follow us on Twitter at @CFAPeachBowl and find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CFAPeachBowl.