2019 Dodd Trophy Midseason Watch List Announced

22 coaches named to midseason watch list, including five former winners

ATLANTA (October 17, 2019) – Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl released the midseason watch list for the 2019 Dodd Trophy. The list includes 22 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 the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, taking into consideration each program’s current performance during the 2019 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.

“This group of coaches go out every single day and work hard to embody the scholarship, leadership and integrity that Coach Dodd cared about so much,” 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 on top of winning football games. That is what The Dodd Trophy is all about.”

The 2019 Dodd Trophy Midseason Watch List:

Coach School Conference Current AP Ranking Current Record APR Score
Paul Chryst Wisconsin Big Ten No. 6 6-0 979
Mario Cristobal Oregon Pac-12 No. 12 5-1 968
Sonny Dykes SMU American No. 19 6-0 967
Herm Edwards Arizona State Pac-12 No. 17 5-1 980
Kirk Ferentz Iowa Big Ten No. 23 4-2 973
Luke Fickell Cincinnati American No. 21 5-1 983
P.J. Fleck Minnesota Big Ten No. 20 6-0 978
James Franklin Penn State Big Ten No. 7 6-0 979
Jim Harbaugh Michigan Big Ten No. 16 5-1 982
Bryan Harsin Boise State Mountain West No. 14 6-0 979
Tom Herman Texas Big 12 No. 15 4-2 972
Brian Kelly Notre Dame Independent No. 8 5-1 966
Gus Malzahn Auburn SEC No. 11 5-1 982
Dan Mullen Florida SEC No. 9 6-1 975
Ed Orgeron LSU SEC No. 2 6-0 951
Chris Petersen Washington Pac-12 No. 25 5-2 991
Matt Rhule Baylor Big 12 No. 18 6-0 976
Lincoln Riley Oklahoma Big 12 No. 5 6-0 966
Nick Saban Alabama SEC No. 1 6-0 984
Kirby Smart Georgia SEC No. 10 5-1 963
Dabo Swinney Clemson ACC No. 3 6-0 992
Kyle Whittingham Utah Pac-12 No. 13 5-1 989

Of the 22 coaches on the midseason watch list, the Big Ten and the SEC lead the way with five coaches each. Right behind them is the Pac-12 with four, followed by the Big 12 and AAC with three and two coaches, respectively. A total of 10 coaches on the list remain undefeated going into the eighth week of the season.

This year’s midseason watch list includes five former winners of The Dodd Trophy with Brian Kelly (2018), Kirk Ferentz (2015), Nick Saban (2014), Dabo Swinney (2011) and Chris Petersen (2010) all making the list. Additionally, five of the coaches were finalists for last year’s award, including Nick Saban, Lincoln Riley, Brian Kelly, Kirby Smart and Dabo Swinney.

The coaches on the list together have appeared in the College Football Playoff 15 times, winning four national championships, and in the classroom, their teams have earned an average Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 976.

“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 members will identify a list of finalists at the conclusion of the 2019 season. The winner of the 2019 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during bowl week at this year’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.