The Dodd Trophy Releases 2017 Preseason Watch List

Top national coaching award honors scholarship, leadership and integrity
19 coaches in consideration, representing the
ACC (4), Big 12 (2), Big 10 (4), Pac 12 (4), SEC (4) and American

ATLANTA (July 19, 2017) – Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl today released the preseason watch list for the 2017 Dodd Trophy. The list includes 19 of the nation’s top college football coaches representing all Power 5 conferences 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 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 2017 season and Academic Progress Rate (APR).

“The Dodd Trophy is unique in the sense it looks beyond rankings, wins or losses,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “This is the most-coveted coach of the year award because it measures the overall impact these coaches have on their players and their communities. It includes a select group of individuals who embody the principles Bobby Dodd himself adhered to, such as leadership and integrity.”

“This list represents some of the most renowned and respected names in the game,” said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Chairman Percy Vaughn. “We look forward to seeing how the season unfolds and which of these coaches set themselves apart from the rest of the pack, both on and off the field.”

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

The 2017 Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List:

Coach School Conference
Paul Chryst Wisconsin Big Ten
 James Franklin  Penn State Big Ten
 Justin Fuente  Virginia Tech ACC
 Mike Gundy  Oklahoma State Big 12
 Jim Harbaugh  Michigan Big Ten
 Clay Helton  USC Pac-12
Paul Johnson Georgia Tech ACC
Butch Jones Tennessee SEC
Gus Malzahn Auburn SEC
 Jim McElwain  Florida  SEC
 Urban Meyer  Ohio State  Big Ten
 Ken Niumatalolo  Navy  American
Chris Petersen Washington Pac-12
 Mark Richt  Miami  ACC
Nick Saban Alabama SEC
David Shaw Stanford Pac-12
 Bill Snyder  Kansas State  Big 12
Dabo Swinney Clemson ACC
Kyle Whittingham Utah Pac-12

Of the 19 coaches on the watch list, five are previous winners of The Dodd Trophy, including Bill Snyder (1998 & 2012), Chris Petersen (2010), Paul Johnson (2004), Dabo Swinney (2011) and Nick Saban (2014). Additionally, three of the coaches were finalists for last year’s award, including Paul Chryst, Ken Niumatalolo and Chris Petersen. The ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC all tied for the highest number of representatives on this year’s list with four coaches from each respective conference.

Additional watch lists – adding to or narrowing the field – will be released throughout the fall. 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.

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 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 For news, updates and insider information, follow us on Twitter at @DoddTrophy or find us on Facebook at

About the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Peach Bowl, Inc. operates the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country and one of New Year’s Six Bowls selected to host the College Football Playoff. In 2014-15, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl hosted top nationally ranked teams as assigned by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. In 2016, the Bowl hosted its first College Football Playoff Semifinal (#1 Alabama vs. #4 Washington). 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 49-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 or follow us on Twitter at @CFAPeachBowl and find us on Facebook at