UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State football head coach Bill OBrien has for the fifth time this fall been named a finalist for a national coaching honor with his selection as one of six candidates for the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year.
The 2012 ESPN Coach of the Year, OBrien also is a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year and the Maxwell Football Clubs Collegiate Coach of the Year. The first-year Nittany Lion mentor also was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America and is among six candidates for the Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year, awarded to sportsmen of Western Pennsylvania.
OBrien is joined on the list for the Bear Bryant award by James Franklin (Vanderbilt), Urban Meyer (Ohio State), David Shaw (Stanford), Bill Snyder (Kansas State) and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M).
Sponsored by the American Heart Association and Marathon Oil, the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year will be announced Jan. 17 in Houston.
OBrien was named the Big Tens Dave McClain Coach of the Year (media) and Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (coaches). He was just the seventh first-year head coach to earn the Big Ten-Dave McClain Coach of the Year in the 41 years it has been awarded.
Penn States 15th head coach in program history, OBrien led the Nittany Lions to victories in eight of their final 10 games, earning an 8-4 overall record and a 6-2 mark in the Big Ten.