Bowman, Paterno semifinalists for Maxwell Football Club Awards

November 06, 2009

University Park, Pa. — Penn State coach Joe Paterno and junior linebacker Navorro Bowman (District Heights, Md.) and have been selected as semifinalists for two awards presented by the Maxwell Football Club.

Paterno is among the 15 nominees for the Maxwell Football Club's college coach of the year honor, the George Munger Award. Paterno previously was selected as the George Munger Award recipient in 2005.

Bowman is one of 16 players under consideration for the Chuck Bednarik Award, an honor bestowed upon the nation's top defensive player. The Nittany Lions have had four Bednarik Award winners in the last 10 years, the last being All-America linebacker Dan Connor in 2007, giving Penn State three consecutive honorees. Paul Posluszny became the just the second-time two-time winner in 2005 and 2006. Linebacker LaVar Arrington received the Chuck Bednarik Award in 1999.

In its 21st year, the George Munger Award is named for former University of Pennsylvania coach George Munger. The Chuck Bednarik Award was established in 1995 and is presented in honor of linebacking great Chuck Bednarik, a member of both the College Football and NFL Halls of Fame.

Paterno, in his 44th season as Penn State head coach and 60th as a member of the coaching staff, has led the Nittany Lions to an 8-1 overall record and the No. 11 ranking in the Associated Press and Bowl Championship Series rankings and the No. 10 spot in the USA Today Coaches poll.

Also on the Paul "Bear" Bryant College Football Coach of the Year Watch List, Paterno is the all-time leader in victories among major college coaches. A 1950 graduate of Brown University, he owns a career record of 391-128-3. A three-time recipient of the Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year Award, his winning percentage of 75.2 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 65.7 mark. He is the only coach to win the Rose, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and Cotton Bowls.

Despite missing most of the first three games of the season with an injury, Bowman has resumed his high impact play during the past six games, heavily contributing to a defensive unit that leads the Big Ten and ranks in the top 12 nationally in all six primary statistical categories. Penn State leads the nation in scoring defense (9.3 ppg) and has held seven of its first nine opponents to 13 points or less for the first time since 1989.

A 2008 first team All-Big Ten selection and Nagurski Trophy candidate, Bowman ranks second on the team in tackles (53) and third in tackles for loss (9) to go along with a sack, an interception, and two fumble recoveries. He is 10th in the Big Ten in tackles despite the early season injury.

In the 35-10 road win over Michigan, Bowman made a game-high 11 tackles for his second double figure tackle game in the six full games he has played this year. The former Suitland High School standout also had a sack, recovered a fumble in Penn State territory and grabbed his first interception of the season, returning it 13 yards into Wolverines' territory

In the win over Eastern Illinois, Bowman delivered a record-setting play along with his five stops, with two tackles for a loss and a pass break-up. Late in the first half, Bowman punctuated a dominating first half performance by scooping up a fumble and retrurning it 91 yards for a touchdown. Penn State's longest play since the NCAA began to allow fumble returns in 1990, gave it a commanding 38-0 halftime lead en route to the 52-3 win.

Three finalists for each award will be released on Nov. 23 and a second round of voting will take place at that time. The announcement of the winner of the 15th Bednarik Award will be made during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show that will air on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 10. The Maxwell Football Club will announce the winner of the 21st George Munger Award in December.

The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club's Awards Dinner, to be held on Friday, March 5, 2010 at the Harrah's Entertainment Complex in Atlantic City, N.J.

Voting for all of the collegiate awards presented by the Maxwell Football Club will begin on Nov. 4 and close on Nov. 22. Eligible voters included Maxwell Football Club members, NCAA head football coaches, sports information directors, and selected national media.

Penn State (8-1, 4-1) will host No. 17/15 Ohio State (7-2, 4-1) in Beaver Stadium's 300th game on Saturday. Kickoff for the critical Big Ten clash is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be televised by ABC to more than 70 percent of the nation, with ESPN2 airing the game to the rest of the nation outside of the ABC coverage area.

  • Navorro Bowman

    IMAGE: Penn State Sports Information

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010