The Dodd Trophy Releases 2016 Preseason Watch List

Top national coaching award honors scholarship, leadership and integrity
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.

 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 who 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 and is one of only three men to be inducted into the National College Football Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. Coach Dodd was a native of Galax, Virginia, and played at the University of Tennessee where his teams had 27 wins, one loss and two ties during the three years he played. Additional information about the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation can be found at


About the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl has been the presenting sponsor of the Dodd Trophy since 2011 and is the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country and one of New Year’s Six Bowls selected to host the College Football Playoff. In 2014 and 2015, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl hosted top nationally ranked teams as assigned by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. In 2016, the Bowl will host its first College Football Playoff Semifinal (#1 vs. #4 or #2 vs. #3). The Bowl has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the country, with 54% (26 of 48) of its games being decided by a touchdown or less. Peach Bowl, Inc. has disbursed $150 million in team payouts over its 48-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 $19.5 million to organizations in need since 2002. Peach Bowl, Inc. also owns and manages the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament and is the presenting sponsor and manager of The Dodd Trophy national coach of the year award. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @CFAPeachBowland find us on Facebook at