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Ryan Day Makes Preseason Watch List For Dodd Coach Of The Year Award

The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc. named Ohio State football head coach Ryan Day to its preseason watch list for the 2021 Dodd Trophy, a national coaching award honoring scholarship, leadership and integrity.

“The Dodd Trophy is the most coveted coach of the year award because it looks beyond just the results on the field and measures the overall impact these coaches have had on their players, universities and communities,” chairman Jim Terry said.

The foundation created the list through a selection process, considering each program’s graduation rate, commitment to service and charity in the community, projected success for the 2021 season and academic progress for student-athletes.

The  2021 Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List presented by PNC features 17 of the nation’s top college football coaches representing Power Five conferences, th AAC, Sun Belt and independent.

The 17 coaches on the list include:

  1. Tom Allen, Indiana
  2. Mack Brown, North Carolina
  3. Matt Campbell, Iowa State
  4. Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina
  5. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin
  6. Ryan Day, Ohio State
  7. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
  8. Luke Fickell, Cincinnati
  9. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M
  10. James Frankin, Penn State
  11. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
  12. Jimmy Lake, Washington
  13. Dan Mullen, Florida
  14. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma
  15. Nick Saban, Alabama
  16. Kirby Smart, Georgia
  17. Dabo Swinney, Clemson

“These coaches are coming off one of the most unprecedented and trying seasons in the history of college football, but found a way to persevere in the face of adversity.” Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO and President Gary Stokan said. “They have consistently found success no matter the circumstances and we look forward to seeing how they lead their teams as we return to a sense of normalcy this season.”

The collective group of coaches has won 11 national championships, 37 FBS conference titles and won 1,594 games throughout their respective careers.

The Big Ten leads all conferences with five coaches making the list, including Ohio State’s Ryan Day. The SEC follows closely behind with four representatives.

The foundation will release a midseason watch list, which may add to or narrow the field, in the fall. A panel consisting of previous winners, national college football 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 season. The winner will be announced at the 2022 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Last season, Northwestern head football coach Pat Fitzgerald won the award after leading his team to a Big Ten West title and finishing with a 7-2 record. Day and the Buckeyes handed Fitzgerald and the Wildcats their second loss in the Big Ten Championship game as Ohio State won the matchup 22-10.

Starting in September, the Dodd Coach of the Week Award will honor coaches weekly for their commitment to the award’s three pillars: scholarship, leadership and integrity, while also measuring the coach’s success on the field during the previous week.