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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gene Chizik wins Paul 'Bear' Bryant Award, his third national coach of the year honor

Auburn coach Gene Chizik won the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award as national coach of the year, the third such honor he's received this season.

Chizik, who led the Tigers to a 14-0 record and their their first national championship since 1957, was given the honor during the 25th annual Paul "Bear" Bryant Awards at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston on Tuesday night.

"You work so hard and you're so demanding on yourself, it's really hard to grasp everything until there's a month or two that passes," he told the Associated Press. "You really don't have time to sit back. A month or two later when it really slows down and you get a chance to back off is when you really realize it."

Chizik beat a field that included seven other finalists: Nevada's Chris Ault, Wisconsin's Bret Bielema, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, Oregon's Chip Kelly, Arkansas' Bobby Petrino and Texas A&M's Mike Sherman.

Chizik was previously named national coach of the year by Liberty Mutual prior to the BCS national championship game and the Home Depot in December.

He joined Terry Bowden (1993) and Tommy Tuberville (2004) as Auburn coaches who have won the Bryant Award, which is named for the former Alabama coaching legend.

"When you can have your name associated with a guy that's done so much for the sport, it's a blessing," Chizik said.

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Johnny Smith said...

And yet his peers voted Steve Spurrier (9-5) SEC Coach of the Year. How truly pathetic does that vote look now? That's OK Coach Chizik. Their vote only makes them look foolish now.

JoeinFP said...

How must "The Bear" be spinning in his grave? LOL