Paterno among finalists for Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award

December 11, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State coach Joe Paterno has been selected as one of 10 Football Bowl Subdivision finalists for the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. The award, now in its fourth year, celebrates college football coaches who demonstrate sportsmanship, integrity and responsibility on and off the field.

Paterno, in his 44th season as Penn State head coach and 60th as a member of the coaching staff, has led the 2009 Nittany Lions to a 10-2 overall record and the No. 13 ranking in the final Bowl Championship Series standings. Penn State has earned its 21st season with at least 10 wins under Paterno, who is the FBS all-time leader in 10-win seasons.

With a career record of 393-129-3, Paterno is the all-time leader in victories among major college coaches. A three-time recipient of the Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year Award, his winning percentage of 75.1 ranks second among active coaches with 10 or more years as an FBS head coach.

The longest-serving head coach at one school in major college football history, Paterno has led the Nittany Lions to two national championships (1982 and 1986) and five undefeated seasons (1968, 1969, 1973, 1986 and 1994). Selected the AFCA National Coach of the Year an unprecedented five times, Paterno is the all-time leader in bowl wins with a record of 23-11-1 and ranks second in winning percentage among coaches with at least 12 bowl appearances with an impressive 67.1 mark. He is the only coach to win the Rose, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and Cotton Bowls.

Inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 2007, he is one of only nine coaches in NCAA history (five in Division I-A) to win 300 games and reached the milestone faster than anyone (380 games). Paterno also is the only FBS head coach with 300 victories at one school.

Since Paterno became head coach in 1966, there have been 850 head coaching changes among Division I-A programs, an average of more than six changes per I-A institution (includes 12 changes thus far in 2009).

Under Paterno, Penn State has had 15 Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes, 34 first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans (45 overall) and 18 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners.

Joining Paterno as the Liberty Mutual finalists for the Football Bowl Subdivision are: Mack Brown, Texas; Pete Carroll, USC; Al Golden, Temple; Kirk Ferentz, Iowa; Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech; Brian Kelly, Cincinnati; Gary Patterson, Texas Christian University; Nick Saban, Alabama; and Dabo Swinney, Clemson. Golden is a former Nittany Lion co-captain and assistant coach.

Liberty Mutual will award the winning coach $50,000 to donate to the charity of his choice and a $20,000 grant to donate to the alumni association of his school for student scholarships and activities. Winners will be announced January 6, 2010, in Los Angeles, in advance of the BCS Championship Game.

From Dec. 15-29 fans can visit to vote among the finalists. Fan votes constitute 20 percent of a coach's final score.

The Nittany Lions will play No. 12 LSU (9-3) in the 64th Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2010. The second all-time meeting between the teams will kick at 1 p.m. in Orlando, Fla., and air on ABC, Sports USA Radio and the Penn State Sports Network. Penn State will be playing in its fourth different New Year's bowl game in the last five years.

For ticket information on the Capital One Bowl, go to Bowl Central at

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Last Updated November 18, 2010