HOUSTON, Sept. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Legendary Wisconsin football coach Barry Alvarez is the 2017 Paul "Bear" Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Alvarez, the Badgers' coach for 16 years and the university's current athletic director, will receive the American Heart Association's award presented by Marathon Oil Corporation at the 31st annual presentation on Jan. 11, 2017, in Houston.
Alvarez revitalized the Badgers' football enthusiasm during his coaching tenure from 1990-2005 and is by far the winningest coach in Wisconsin football history (119-74-4 record). When he was hired in 1990, Wisconsin was a meager 9-36 in the previous four seasons, but Alvarez propelled the Badgers to 12 bowl appearances, including three Rose Bowl titles and a stunning Capital One Bowl upset over Auburn to close his career on the sideline in 2005.
He is the only Big Ten coach ever to win the Rose Bowl in consecutive seasons and just the 10th coach in conference history with 100 victories at one school.
"As last year's recipient of the Paul "Bear" Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award, I'm thrilled to extend a warm congratulations to Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez. There is no doubt he's been a driving force in the lives of young men on and off the field," said Mack Brown, 2016 recipient and current ESPN College Football Analyst.
Alvarez, 69, balanced his head coaching job with an athletic director role from 2004-05 before turning solely to athletic director. In September he received a contract extension that will keep him in the position through January 2021. Wisconsin sports have won 56 conference titles and 14 national championships in his 13-year tenure.
The Bryant Awards, celebrating 31 years, are named for renowned Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who died of a heart attack in 1983. About 2,200 Americans die each day from cardiovascular diseases, one every 40 seconds. The event raises money to fund American Heart Association research, advocacy and educational programs that are necessary for the prevention and treatment of heart disease and stroke. The 30th anniversary event in 2016 raised nearly $1 million, a new record.
The Lifetime Achievement Award highlights a coach who embodied excellence both on and off the college football field throughout his career, and past recipients include Mack Brown (2016), Jimmy Johnson (2015), R.C. Slocum (2014) and LaVell Edwards (2013).
The Coach of the Year Award recognizes a current college football coach for an outstanding season and is the only award of its kind presented after a season's bowl games. It is voted on by the National Sports Media Association (formerly known as National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association) and has honored many of the game's all-time greats, including Clemson's Dabo Swinney in 2016. Finalists for the 2017 award will be announced later this year and will join Alvarez at January's event.
Marathon Oil Corporation has served as the presenting sponsor of the Bryant Awards for the past eight years, underscoring the company's commitment to health and wellness and supporting initiatives that promote the wellbeing of workers and their families both on and off the job. The company also values the communities in which its employees live and work and strives to partner with local community leaders to recognize and advance important public health initiatives that promote the common good and protect the public.
About American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.
About Marathon Oil Corporation
Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) is a global exploration and production company. Based in Houston, Texas, the Company had net proved reserves at the end of 2015 of 2.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent in North America, Europe and Africa. For more information, please visit the Company's website at http://www.marathonoil.com.
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SOURCE American Heart Association Houston Division