On Friday, it was announced that Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly was named the 2018 Dodd Trophy Coach of the Year, which is given to the nation’s top college football coach.
This was according to a release from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The finalists included seven of the nation’s top college football coaches “who embody the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, both on and off the field.”
On that final list, Kelly was joined by Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, Syracuse head coach Dino Babers, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, Alabama head coach Nick Saban, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
“It is an honor to present college football’s most prestigious coaching award to a coach who truly exemplifies the spirit of the award and embodies everything Coach Dodd stood for,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “Coach Kelly has had an incredible season leading the Irish to their first-ever appearance in the College Football Playoff, while simultaneously striving for academic excellence from his players and making a difference in his community.”
“It’s an honor to be selected as the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year,” said Kelly. “I accept this award on behalf of our team, university, staff and fans. Coach Dodd is a legend. He emphasized scholarship, leadership and integrity, and we do the same at Notre Dame. “
Kelly and Swinney, two of the finalists for the prestigious award, will square off in the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs, as Notre Dame will take on Clemson. During Notre Dame’s undefeated season, Kelly and the Fighting Irish defeated Fitzgerald and Northwestern, as well as Babers and Syracuse.
Kelly led the 2018 Fighting Irish to the program’s 13th undefeated regular season in school history, becoming one of only five FBS coaches to guide their respective schools to multiple undefeated regular seasons since 2009. Under his leadership, the Irish have now posted back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 1992-93. His Notre Dame team currently leads the nation in victories over FBS opponents (12), ranks second in AP top-25 wins at the time of the game (four), sits at second in final CFP poll top-25 wins (three) and ranks tied for third in overall Power-5 wins (10). Now in his ninth season as the head coach of Notre Dame, Kelly is currently tied as the winningest active coach in the FBS with 231 career wins, and also owns the ninth-best career winning percentage (.718) among active NCAA FBS coaches.
“Coach Kelly is an excellent choice to win the Dodd Trophy from what was a very competitive and deserving list of finalists,” said Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO and President Gary Stokan. “He epitomizes the ideals of Coach Dodd and what the Dodd Trophy stands for – scholarship, leadership and integrity. We are honored to recognize Coach Kelly for his accomplishments on the field, as well as his leadership in the classroom and his community involvement.”
About the Dodd Trophy
The Dodd Trophy was established in 1976 to honor the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1A) head football coach whose program represents the highest ideals on and off the field. The award honors the coach of a team which enjoys a successful football season, while also stressing the importance of academic excellence and character, as did Coach Dodd’s teams during his 22 years as head football coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Coach Dodd remains one of college football’s legendary figures, both as a coach and a player. Coach Dodd was a native of Galax, Virginia, and played his college ball at the University of Tennessee where his team had 27 wins, one loss and two ties during the three years he played. Coach Dodd was selected to the National College Football Hall of Fame both as a coach and as a player. Additional information about the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation can be found atwww.TheDoddTrophy.com. For news, updates and insider information, follow us on Twitter at @DoddTrophy or find us on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/DoddTrophy.
About the Peach Bowl, Inc.
Peach Bowl, Inc. operates the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, one of the New Year’s Six Bowls selected to host the College Football Playoff. Last year, the Peach Bowl celebrated its Golden Season, including its 50-year history of traditions and successes as the nation’s ninth-oldest bowl organization. The Bowl has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the country, with 54 percent of its games being decided by a touchdown or less. Peach Bowl, Inc. has disbursed $240.5 million in team payouts over its 50-year history. Peach Bowl, Inc. also leads all other bowl game organizations in charitable and scholarship contributions, giving more than $31.8 million to organizations in need since 2002. Peach Bowl, Inc. also runs the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament, manages The Dodd Trophy national coach of the year award and led the relocation and financial foundation of the College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta. For more information, visit Chick-fil-APeachBowl.com or follow us on Twitter at @CFAPeachBowl and find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CFAPeachBowl.