Penn State Football

Penn State football: Bill O’Brien a finalist for Bear Bryant coaching honor

Penn State football head coach Bill O’Brien 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, O’Brien also is a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year and the Maxwell Football Club’s 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.

O’Brien 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.

O’Brien was named the Big Ten’s 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 State’s 15th head coach in program history, O’Brien 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.