Ferentz a Finalist for Coach of the Year

Dec. 10, 2009

IOWA CITY, Iowa – – Now in its fourth year of heralding college football coaches who demonstrate sportsmanship, integrity and responsibility on and off the field, Liberty Mutual Insurance today named University of Iowa Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz one of 10 Football Bowl Subdivision finalists for the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. If he wins, Liberty Mutual will award Coach Ferentz $50,000 to donate to the charity of his choice and a $20,000 grant to donate to the University of Iowa Alumni Association for student scholarships and activities. Winners will be announced January 6, 2010, in Los Angeles, in advance of the BCS Championship Game.

Past winners, including Alabama’s Nick Saban (2008), Northern Illinois’ Jerry Kill (2007) and Pittsburg State’s Chuck Broyles (2008), have used their Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award money to help build homes in local communities, support children in need and even fight terminal diseases. Including the 2009 winners, Liberty Mutual will have donated nearly $1 million to support dozens of national and local charities and college scholarship funds on behalf of its Coach of the Year Award winners.

“Many passionate fans came out to vote for Coach Ferentz because he embodies the college football spirit and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year values,” said Greg Gordon, senior vice president of Consumer Marketing at Liberty Mutual. “Coach Ferentz has made a great impact on the lives of his student-athletes and his community and we are proud to recognize him as a Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year finalist.”

Ferentz is completing his 11th season as the Hawkeye head coach. He has guided Iowa to eight bowl games, including six January games. Iowa will make its second appearance in a BCS bowl Jan. 5 when the Hawkeyes meet Georgia Tech in the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl. He has led Iowa to 10 or more wins in four seasons.

Ferentz is the 2009 Dave McClain Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year and he has been named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Region Three Coach of the Year. The Big Ten honor is the third for Ferentz, who also earned the league honor in 2002 and 2004.

Joining Ferentz among the 10 finalists for the Football Bowl Subdivision are, in alphabetical order: Mack Brown, University of Texas; Pete Carroll, University of Southern California; Al Golden, Temple University; Paul Johnson, Georgia Institute of Technology; Brian Kelly, University of Cincinnati; Joe Paterno, Penn State University; Gary Patterson, Texas Christian University; Nick Saban, University of Alabama; and, Dabo Swinney, Clemson University.

Between December 15 and December 29 fans can click HERE to vote among the finalists. Fan votes constitute 20 percent of a coach’s final score.

To ensure candidates are evaluated fairly and measured against the specific values of responsibility and integrity, selection committees of College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches – including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott, and Jerry Rice – and the national college football media will also cast votes for the winners. Hall of Fame and media votes account for 55 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

Launched in 2006, Liberty Mutual created the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award to celebrate responsible coaching because it is one of the clearest examples of a positive influence on young people, their families and entire communities. Past winners include 2006 – Greg Schiano (Rutgers); 2007 – Ron Zook (Illinois), Jerry Kill (Southern Illinois), Bill O’Boyle (Chadron State), John Gagliardi (Saint John’s); 2008 – Nick Saban (Alabama), Mickey Matthews (James Madison), Chuck Broyles (Pittsburg State), Larry Kehres (Mount Union).