ATLANTA  – Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc. have announced the finalists for the 2022 Dodd Trophy Presented by PNC.

Finalists include five of the nation’s top coaches in college football who embody the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, both on and off the field.

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. 

This year’s finalists represent five different conferences, including the AAC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12.

These coaches have combined for a 57-8 record so far this season and have collectively won 410 games and eight FBS conference championships throughout their careers.

The 2022 Dodd Trophy Finalists:

CoachSchoolConferenceCFP Ranking:Record2021 APR Score:
FIRST YEAR COACHES INELIGIBLE DUE TO LACK OF APR AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Willie FritzTulaneAAC1611-2987
Jim HarbaughMichiganBig Ten213-0982
Chris KliemanKansas StateBig 12910-3986
Kirby SmartGeorgiaSEC113-0972
Kyle WhittinghamUtahPac-12810-3988

This marks Kirby Smart’s third selection as a finalist (2017, 2018), while Jim Harbaugh (2021) and Kyle Whittingham (2019 winner) were named finalists for a second time in their careers. Willie Fritz and Chris Klieman are both making their first appearance on the finalist list.

Three of the five finalists – Fritz (AAC), Harbaugh (Big Ten) and Smart (SEC) – won their respective conference’s Coach of the Year awards for this season and all five coaches won their conference championships earlier this month.

“These five coaches have found a way to set themselves apart by guiding their programs to historic seasons during another exhilarating year of college football,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “Each of these men have left a significant mark on their respective universities, football programs and players, both on and off the gridiron, and truly embody all that this award stands for.”

“The Dodd Trophy is the sport’s most coveted coach of the year award because it fully takes into account what it means to be a coach, aside from just wins and losses,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO & President. “These five finalists not only succeeded on the football field this year, but also in the classroom and throughout their communities. It’s this mindset that sets our award apart, and why we only consider coaches who have been at their current programs long enough to truly establish their own foundation of success, as it relates to academics and community involvement.”

Finalists were selected by a panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member. The winner of the 2022 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.

{Courtesy: Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation}