HOUSTON November 17, 2020 – Twenty-four college football coaches have been named to the 2020 American Heart Association Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards watch list putting them in contention for the highly coveted, final title of the season: the 2020 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year.

The Coach of the Year award – presented each January– is the only college coaching honor selected after all postseason bowl games and the National Championship conclude. The winner will be announced live on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, during a virtual awards ceremony benefiting the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives.

Football coaching legend, Paul “Bear” Bryant, died from a heart attack in 1983. Moved to drive education around heart disease after his passing, the Bryant family teamed with the American Heart Association in 1986 building on the Association’s Coach of the Year Award to create the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards. Each year, the awards honor “Bear’s” legacy by recognizing coaching excellence while raising critical funds for research to eradicate cardiovascular disease through event sponsorships, an auction and individual donations.

The coaches on this year’s Watch List are (in alphabetical order):

Tom Allen, Indiana University

Matt Campbell, Iowa State University

Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina University

Paul Chryst, University of Wisconsin

Mario Cristobal, University of Oregon

Ryan Day, The Ohio State University 

Manny Diaz, University of Miami

Karl, Dorrell, University of Colorado

Luke Fickell, University of Cincinnati

Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M University

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern University

Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State University

Clay Helton, University of Southern California

Tom Herman, The University of Texas at Austin

Doc Holliday, Marshall University

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame University

Gus Malzahn, Auburn University

Dan Mullen, University of Florida

Jay Norvell, University of Nevada

Lincoln Riley, University of Oklahoma

Nick Saban, University of Alabama

Kalani Sitake, Brigham Young University

Kirby Smart, University of Georgia

Dabo Swinney, Clemson University

Previously announced 2020 Paul “Bear” Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award and 2020 Heart of a Champion Award will also be presented virtually at the 35th Annual Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards ceremonies, sponsored by Marathon Oil Corporation.

Marathon Oil, an independent exploration and production company based in Houston, has served as the presenting sponsor of the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards for over 10 years, underscoring the company’s commitment to the health and well-being of their employees, families and communities. Marathon Oil works with leading community organizations that share their core values, like the American Heart Association, to advance important public health initiatives that promote the common good and protect the public.  

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For Media Inquiries:

Stacy Christian, Senior Director of Community Revenue and Engagement



For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org