Liberty Mutual Insurance Awards 2013 Coach Of The Year Honors To Nation's Top Football Leaders Who Excel On And Off The Field

Gus Malzahn, Craig Bohl, Curt Wiese and Pete Fredenburg Help Liberty Mutual Exceed $2 Million For Charity and Scholarship Through Coach of the Year Program

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four college football coaches today were honored for their teams' success on the field this season as well as for their achievements in the classroom and community.  Liberty Mutual Insurance, in partnership with the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame, today announced the 2013 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award winners: Gus Malzahn, Auburn (Football Bowl Subdivision); Craig Bohl, North Dakota State (Football Championship Subdivision); Curt Wiese, Minnesota Duluth (Division II); and Pete Fredenburg, Mary Hardin-Baylor (Division III).  The award honors coaches who best stand for responsibility, integrity, sportsmanship and excellence — encouraging equally lofty standards both on the field of play and beyond.  

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Each of the 2013 Coach of the Year Award winners will receive a $50,000 donation from Liberty Mutual Insurance to support his favorite charities and a $20,000 donation to his school's alumni association for scholarship.  This year's recipients will help Liberty Mutual eclipse the $2 million mark it has donated to charity and scholarship to more than 100 non-profits and colleges across the country through its Coach of the Year Award program.

"College program leaders have a responsibility to mold and shape their young players, whether it's preparing them to compete for a championship or teaching them life lessons they can take far beyond the football field," said Archie Manning, Chairman of the National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame.  "The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award celebrates those coaches who inspire excellence from everyone they come in contact with, and have a positive influence on the community around them.  This year's winners exemplify the pillars of this award and the dedication it takes to instill these values into their team."

The winners were chosen through online fan voting cast December 10-22, and by selection committees comprised of national media and College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches. Fan votes accounted for 20 percent of each coach's final score, with votes from two committees of college football media (25 percent) and College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches (55 percent) also being considered. The winning coaches were narrowed down from a pool of 25 semifinalists who were determined based on an objective scoring model endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame, incorporating such criteria as wins, team penalties, sportsmanship, academic performance by the student-athletes, and charitable commitments in their community and beyond. To learn more on the award, visit CoachoftheYear.com.

"These four Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award recipients stand for something greater than just sports — they stand for excellence in every facet of life," said Peter Kelly, vice president, Brand Marketing, at Liberty Mutual Insurance.  "We are proud to recognize them for being mentors and encouraging young men to put forth their very best efforts in practice, the game, the classroom and their community."

Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) – Gus Malzahn, Auburn University
When Gus Malzahn returned to Auburn after the 2012 football season, he inherited a Tigers team that finished 3-9 including a winless SEC campaign.  One year later, Malzahn has Auburn (12-1) on the brink of a national championship.  A win tonight would mean a nine game turnaround, which would be the best in FBS history.  He is the second Auburn coach to win the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award (Gene Chizik, 2010).

Coach Malzahn may be short on head coaching experience but his two years have seen nothing but success, having led Arkansas State to a 9-3 record and the Sun Belt Conference title in 2012.  His offensive coaching mind is already legendary throughout college football, highlighted by the 2010 Auburn team that won the national title while serving at the Tigers' offensive coordinator.

Off the field, Coach Malzahn's commitment to education is demonstrated by the 11 Tigers who will take the field tonight with college degrees.  Additionally, he is very active in the Auburn community.  Malzahn and his staff regularly support their community by supporting Children's Miracle Network, and volunteering at the Azalea Place Retirement Home and the annual CityFest in Kiesel Park.  Malzahn encourages his Tiger players to give back as well, and they can be seen playing baseball with special needs children for the Miracle League of East Alabama or supporting the Auburn and Opelika Police Departments by speaking at child safety awareness classes and DARE summer youth camps.

Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) – Craig Bohl, North Dakota State University
For the third consecutive season under the leadership of Coach Craig Bohl the Bison earned the FCS championship, the culmination of a season that began with a victory at defending Big 12 champion Kansas State – his seventh win in 11 years against an FBS team – and ended with a title win against Towson.  The undefeated campaign saw Bohl become North Dakota State's all-time winningest coach with 104 victories and the Missouri Valley Football Conference Coach of the Year for the third straight year.  On the field, he coached 14 Bison players to all-MVFC first- or second-team honors; off the field he mentored six student-athletes to the MVFC All-Academic Team.

Bohl's commitment to football success is matched equally by his contributions off the field.  Bohl is a spokesperson for Jason's Foundation to prevent youth suicide, and participates annually in the Coach to Cure MD national campaign.  Patients at Sanford Children's Hospital in Fargo have often been uplifted by visits from Coach Bohl, his staff and Bison players; and Coach and the Bison are supporters of Make-A-Wish, Special Olympics, and the United Blood Services blood drive.

Division II – Curt Wiese, University of Minnesota Duluth
Coach Curt Wiese's first season as head coach of the Bulldogs continued a successful six-year run of double-digits victories and NCAA Division II playoff berths for Minnesota Duluth.  The 2013 campaign ended with a loss to the eventual national champions, but not before the Bulldogs amassed 11 wins, their sixth consecutive Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title, and a national ranking of 8th in the season-ending AFCA Division II poll.  Coach Wiese is the second Bulldogs coach to earn the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, joining current Western Illinois coach Bob Nielson (2010).

Like his predecessor, Coach Wiese promotes community service as a mainstay of his program.  This year, Wiese required each Bulldog to volunteer 10 hours in the spring and an additional hour in the fall, resulting in more than 1,100 total hours of community service by the team throughout Duluth.  Coach Wiese and his staff volunteer their time at Goodwill Industries, the Damiano Center soup kitchen, Heritage Center Camps, Habitat for Humanity, local elementary school reading programs, and are Boys & Girls Club mentors.

Division III – Pete Fredenburg, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
For the fourth consecutive year, Coach Pete Fredenburg led Mary Hardin-Baylor to an undefeated regular season earning the Crusaders an American Southwest Conference championship for the ninth time and berth in the Division III playoffs for the twelfth time since the program began in 1998.  This year's 13-win campaign saw the Cru advance to the national semifinals, losing by a point to eventual champion Wisconsin-Whitewater.  UMHB ranked second in the season-ending D3football.com national poll.

The only football coach in the 16-year history of the UMHB program, Coach Fredenburg has compiled a 159-35 record, has won or shared 11 ASC titles, and is a seven-time conference Coach of the Year.  He has coached 12 AFCA All-Americans, 84 All-Region selections and 275 All-Conference players.  Equally impressive are the achievements his players have earned in the classroom:   five Academic All-Americans, 10 Academic All-District players, and 147 Academic All-Conference selections during his tenure at UMHB.

Off the field, Fredenburg's teams are always visible throughout the Belton, Texas, community.  The Cru participate in reading programs and career days at three local schools, they participate in Special Olympics events, and volunteer at five youth football camps.  Coach Fredenburg participates in local charity golf tournaments and road races to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, the Ft. Hood Wives, and the McLean Children's Hospital Scott & White in Temple.

About Liberty Mutual Insurance
"Helping people live safer, more secure lives" since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2012 direct premiums written as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.  Liberty Mutual Insurance also ranks 81st on the Fortune 100 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2012 revenue.  The company employs over 50,000 people in approximately 900 offices throughout the world.

The sixth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance.  The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 14,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.

Liberty Mutual Insurance is the Official Property and Casualty and Life Insurance Partner of the 2014 and 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams.  Liberty Seguros (Brazil) is a National Supporter and Official Insurer of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2013 FIFA Confederation Cup, both of which are in Brazil.

About the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Award presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.

Press Contact: Glenn Greenberg, Liberty Mutual Insurance, 617-574-5874, glenn.greenberg@libertymutual.com; Sarah Smedley, Ketchum Sports & Entertainment, 212-796-9813, sarah.smedley@ketchum.com

SOURCE Liberty Mutual Insurance



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