On Wednesday morning, Miami Hurricanes Head Coach Mark Richt was named to the Dodd Trophy watch list. Here’s more from UM athletics:
ATLANTA – University of Miami second-year head coach Mark Richt was among those coaches named to the preseason watch list for the 2017 Bobby Dodd Trophy, officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl today announced Wednesday.
The list includes 19 of the nation's top college football coaches representing all Power Five 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.
Richt's hiring in December 2015 provided immediate dividends, as the Hurricanes posted a 9-4 record in his first season in Coral Gables, finishing in a tie for second in the ACC Coastal Division at 5-3. Miami then defeated West Virginia 31-14 in the Russell Athletic Bowl for the program's first bowl victory in 10 years. Miami was ranked 20th in the final Associated Press poll and 23rd in the final USA Today Coaches Poll of the 2016 season.
Miami had 10 players earned ACSMA All-ACC honors in 2016, while quarterback Brad Kaaya became Miami's all-time passing yards leader under Richt's tutelage. Freshman wide receiver Ahmmon Richards broke the 31-year-old freshman receiving record at Miami originally set by Michael Irvin, while sophomore running back Mark Walton became the 11th 1,000-yard rusher in program history.
Miami improved its defense dramatically in 2016, ranking 26th nationally in total defense during the regular season (up from No. 69 the previous season). The Hurricanes also ranked No. 13 in yards per play (No. 86 in 2015), No. 14 in scoring defense (No. 77 in 2015), No. 6 in tackles for loss (No. 105 in 2015), No. 22 in team sacks (No. 70 in 2015) and No. 17 in defensive touchdowns (not ranked in 2015).
The Hurricanes were picked to win the ACC's Coastal Division in 2017 in a preseason poll of media released earlier this week.
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.
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
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 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.
This is a worthy award for Mark Richt. A longtime coach with a track record of success, Richt has the Hurricanes primed for a big season.
Can I be petty for a second? BUTCH JONES GOT NAMED TO A COACH OF THE YEAR WATCHLIST!??!!??!!? AL GOLDEN 1.2 (CUZ HE’S NOT EVEN A FULL UPGRADE FROM GOLDEN)? WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON OUT HERE?!?!??!?!?!?!
Anyways, I’m excited to see what Richt and the Canes have in store for 2017. I’m sure it will be worth watching.