COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
The Associated Press College Football Coach of the Year Award is an award that is given annually since 1998 to NCAA college football’s national coach of the year.
The award is voted on by the Associated Press(AP) voters that participate in the weekly college football AP Poll.
THIS YEAR’S WINNER…
BRIAN KELLY, HEAD COACH, NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH
Kelly joins Saban and TCU’s Gary Patterson as the only two-time winners. Kelly was also coach of the year in 2012.
Kelly received 16 of 58 first-place votes from AP college football poll voters and 81 total points. Alabama’s Nick Saban was second with 16 first-place votes and 66 points and Central Florida first-year coach Josh Heupel was third with 33 points (five first-place votes).
Twelve coaches received at least one first-place vote and eight received at least three for the award announced Monday. Washington State’s Mike Leach finished fourth with 26 points (three first-place votes) and Syracuse’s Dino Babers was fifth with 25 (five first-place votes).
This year’s Notre Dame football team finished the regular season with a 12-0 record and were in contention for a National Championship until they were defeated by Clemson in the Cotton Bowl on Dec 27th.
The Irish started the season with a 3-0 record and was led by quarterback Brandon Wimbush. However, after struggling to truly get the passing game going, Kelly switched to quarterback Ian Book and he started the rest of the way, except for the final home game against Florida State. Book missed that game due to an injury. The offense, both the passing game and rushing attack, was much-improved under Book, but the stellar play of the defense under Clark Lea is really what is separating this team from many others. The defense is loaded with NFL talent across the board and this unit will need to step up in order to slow down a tremendous Clemson offense.
The 2018 A.P. Coach of the Year Award finalists included:
- Alabama – Nick Saban
- UCF – Josh Heupel
- Notre Dame – Brian Kelly