ACC Coaches Are Getting the Attention of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation

ACC Coaches

While this time of year sees several pre-season awards lists for players, the news early this week is for the coaches. Six ACC coaches are getting the attention of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation.

ACC Coaches on the Short List

Jeff Brohm, Louisville; Mario Cristobal, Miami; Dave Doeren, NC State; Mike Norvell, Florida State; Brent Pry, Virginia Tech; and Dabo Swinney, Clemson make up the ACC coaches on the preseason watch list. There are 21 coaches total on the list from all Power Four conferences and one independent, (Marcus Freeman from Notre Dame).

The ACC and SEC lead all conferences with six coaches each on the list. The Big 10 and Big 12 each have four coaches on the list.

The Award

The Bobby Dodd Trophy for the national coach of the year is run by the namesake foundation as well as the Peach Bowl, Inc. The charter for the award proclaims that it is given to the coach of the year, “While also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity – the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s coaching philosophy.

To that end, the award is not only projecting potential success in 2024 by putting together the watch list, but it also examines the academic success of the coaches and their schools. Academic Progress Rate (APR) and Graduation Success Rate (GSR) are two of the criteria for the award.

The examination of the APR and GSR eliminates coaches in the first year at their school from consideration for the award. There has to be a baseline from which to judge progress. So a candidate has to be in at least their second year running the football program at the school.

The Namesake

Dodd served Georgia Tech in various capacities over 57 years. He was the school’s head baseball coach from 1932-1939. Dodd made his real mark as the head football coach from 1945-1966. He had a record of 165–64–8 as the football coach. Dodd won back-to-back SEC championships in 1951 and 1952. His Georgia Tech team won the 1953 Sugar Bowl, following that latter season. He was Georgia Tech’s athletic director from 1950 through 1975.

Norvell was the 2023 winner after taking Florida State to the ACC championship. Swinney is also a previous winner, in 2011. The Tigers finished 10-4 that year and were 22nd in the country in the final AP poll.

There will be an updated watchlist from the committee in the Fall. Coaches can be added to the list at that time, or the pre-season list can be narrowed.

The award winner will be announced in Atlanta the week of the Peach Bowl.


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