Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl released the midseason watch list for the 2019 Dodd Trophy, which includes Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. The list also includes 21 of the nation’s other top college football coaches representing seven conferences and Notre Dame.
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 midseason watch list was created through a selection process by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, taking into consideration each program’s current performance during the 2019 season, Academic Progress Rate (APR) and each coach’s commitment to service and charity in the community.
Smart has led the Bulldogs to a 6-1 record so far this season, including a 23-17 victory over No. 7 Notre Dame. Georgia is the only school in the country this year to hold opponents without a rushing touchdown and leads the SEC in Scoring Defense at 10.6 points/game (No. 4 nationally), Rushing Defense at 85.7 yards/game (No. 5 nationally) and Total Defense at 266.7 yards/game (No. 6 nationally).
The Bulldogs also had their eighth player (Jake Fromm) in the last nine years named to this year’s Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his commitment to community service. Georgia leads the nation with 20 honorees since the award’s inception in 1992.
Considering The Dodd Trophy represents more than just a coach’s performance on the field, a coach in his first year, who has not had a full season to establish his own impact on APR and the local community, is not eligible to win.
Of the 22 coaches on the midseason watch list, the Southeastern Conference and the Big Ten lead the way with five coaches each. Five of the coaches were finalists for last year’s award, including Smart, Nick Saban, Lincoln Riley, Brian Kelly and Dabo Swinney.
The coaches on the list together have appeared in the College Football Playoff 15 times, winning four national championships, and in the classroom, their teams have earned an average Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 976.
“The Dodd Trophy is truly different from other coach of the year awards, and this list really highlights the level of excellence that it takes to be considered for it,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO & president. “We are excited to see what the rest of the season brings and which of these elite coaches will emerge during the final stretch of the season.”
A panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame members will identify a list of finalists at the conclusion of the 2019 season. The winner of the 2019 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during bowl week at this year’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.