Watch List

2016 Mid-Season Watch List

Eighteen head coaches named for national coaching award.

ATLANTA (October 28, 2016) – Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl today released the mid-season watch list for the 2016 Dodd Trophy. The list includes 18 of the nation’s top college football coaches representing all Power 5 conferences, the American Athletic Conference, Mid-American Conference and Mountain West Conference.

The head coaches on the watch list represent programs with the highest ideals of leadership, scholarship and integrity on and off the field – the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s philosophy. Each of the coaches sits at the helm of programs with winning records, superior Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores and graduation rates, as well as a strong commitment to service within their communities.

“We are at the midpoint of the college football season and in our opinion, these 18 head coaches have separated themselves from the rest of the pack,” said Jim Terry, Chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “Whether it is their current on-field success, high academic standing or community involvement, these are the coaches who have best represented what the Dodd Trophy is all about.”

The 2016 Dodd Trophy Mid-Season Watch List:

Coach School Conference AP Ranking (as of 10/28)
Previous Winner
Paul Chryst Wisconsin Big Ten No. 11  
Larry Fedora North Carolina ACC No. 21  
P.J. Fleck Western Michigan MAC No. 20  
Jim Harbaugh Michigan Big Ten No. 2  
Bryan Harsin Boise State MWC No. 13  
Dana Holgorsen West Virginia Big 12 No. 10  
Mike MacIntyre Colorado Pac-12 No. 23  
Gus Malzahn Auburn SEC No. 15  
Jim McElwain Florida SEC No. 14  
Urban Meyer Ohio State Big Ten No. 6  
Ken Niumatalolo Navy American No. 22  
Chris Petersen Washington Pac-12 No. 4 2010 Winner
Mike Riley Nebraska Big Ten No. 7  
Nick Saban Alabama SEC No. 1 2014 Winner
Bob Stoops Oklahoma Big 12 No. 16 2003 Winner
Kevin Sumlin Texas A&M SEC No. 9  
Dabo Swinney Clemson ACC No. 3 2011 Winner
Kyle Whittingham Utah Pac-12 No. 17  

“The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is proud to manage the Dodd Trophy,” said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Chairman Percy Vaughn. “All of these fine coaches have achieved tremendous success this season and are certainly deserving of this recognition.”

As the season continues, an updated watch list will be released in November.

A voting panel of all previous winners, plus a committee made up of national college football media members, a member of the Dodd family and two College Football Hall of Fame members will determine the 2016 recipient. The winner of The Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl week.


2016 Preseason Watch List 

24 coaches in consideration, representing the ACC (3), Big 12 (3), Big 10 (5), Pac 12 (6), SEC (5), American and Notre Dame

ATLANTA (July 8, 2016) – Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl today released the preseason watch list for the 2016 Dodd Trophy. The list includes 24 of the nation’s top college football coaches representing all Power 5 conferences, Notre Dame and the American Athletic Conference.

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 coaches on the preseason watch list were selected based on their success on and off the field.

The 2016 Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List:

Coach School Conference
Paul Chryst Wisconsin Big Ten
Mark Dantonio Michigan State Big Ten
Larry Fedora North Carolina ACC
Kirk Ferentz Iowa Big Ten
Jimbo Fisher FSU ACC
Mike Gundy Oklahoma State Big 12
Jim Harbaugh Michigan Big Ten
Mark Helfrich Oregon Pac-12
Clay Helton USC Pac-12
Tom Herman Houston American
Brian Kelly Notre Dame Independent
Jim McElwain Florida SEC
Urban Meyer Ohio State Big Ten
Les Miles LSU SEC
Jim Mora UCLA Pac-12
Gary Patterson TCU Big 12
Chris Petersen Washington Pac-12
Nick Saban Alabama SEC
David Shaw Stanford Pac-12
Kirby Smart Georgia SEC
Bob Stoops Oklahoma Big 12
Kevin Sumlin Texas A&M SEC
Dabo Swinney Clemson ACC
Kyle Whittingham Utah Pac-12

Of the 24 coaches on the list, six are previous winners of The Dodd Trophy, including Bob Stoops (2003), Gary Patterson (2009), Chris Petersen (2010), Dabo Swinney (2011), Nick Saban (2014) and Kirk Ferentz (2015). Four of the coaches were finalists for last year’s award, including Mark Dantonio, Jim McElwain, David Shaw and Dabo Swinney.

The 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, projected success for the 2016 season and Academic Progress Rate (APR).

Additional watch lists – adding to or narrowing the field – will be released throughout the fall. The winner of the 2016 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. A panel consisting of all previous Dodd Trophy 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 2016 season.

Starting in September, the Dodd Coach of the Week Award will also be presented weekly to the coach whose program embodies the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, while also having success on the playing field during the previous week