The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl released the preseason watch list for the 2018 Dodd Trophy. This list includes 20 of the nation’s top college football coaches representing all Power 5 conferences along with the Mountain West and Notre Dame.
The Dodd Trophy, college football’s most coveted national 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 coaching 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 2018 season and Academic Progress Rate (APR). Coaches in the first year with their current team are ineligible to receive The Dodd Trophy.
“The Dodd Trophy distinguishes itself from other coaching awards due to the high standards used to determine potential candidates,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “This is the most-coveted coaching award because it looks beyond rankings, wins or losses, and measures the overall impact these coaches have on their players, universities and communities.”
“This list includes a renowned group of individuals who truly embody the principles Bobby Dodd adhered to, such as scholarship, leadership and integrity,” said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl CEO & President Gary Stokan. “We look forward to seeing which of these coaches set themselves apart from the rest of the pack as the 2018 season unfolds.”
The coaches on The 2018 Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List include:
Of the 20 coaches on the watch list, five are previous winners of the Dodd Trophy, including David Shaw (2017), Nick Saban (2014), Dabo Swinney (2011), Chris Petersen (2010) and Gary Patterson (2009). Additionally, four of the coaches were finalists for last year’s award, including Swinney, Paul Chryst, Mark Richt and Kirby Smart. The SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 all tied for the highest number of representatives on this year’s watch 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 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 2018 season. The winner of the 2018 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.