HOUSTON, Jan. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Dabo Swinney of Clemson captured the 30th annual Coach of the Year award at the American Heart Association's Paul "Bear" Bryant Awards presented by Marathon Oil Corporation.
Clemson rattled off 14 straight wins to start the 2015 season, and Swinney guided the Tigers to a thrilling College Football Playoff National Championship game. Previous signature wins included a 37-17 win over Oklahoma in the Capital One Orange Bowl to reach that title game.
Swinney called Bryant his hero and praised his legacy.
"This is like the Heisman Trophy for me," Swinney said. "Coach Bryant truly was the epitome of what coaching should be all about – impacting young people's lives, building great men and impacting the community in a positive way. He made Alabama a better place, and that's what I'm trying to do at Clemson."
The prestigious annual award was selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. It recognizes excellence in coaching both on and off the field while raising funds to fight heart disease and stroke for the American Heart Association.
Other finalists were Larry Fedora (North Carolina), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa), Tom Herman (Houston), Ken Niumatalolo (Navy) and David Shaw (Stanford).
Wednesday's event, broadcast live by FOX College Sports for the first time, also recognized 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award winner Mack Brown, the Texas Longhorns' coach for 16 seasons. Brown won the 2005 BCS National Championship and earned the Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year that season.
"I want to thank the American Heart Association. You are really special in what you do saving lives," Brown said. "How humbling for my name to be mentioned in the same breath with one of the greatest coaches in our game."
Funds raised from the awards benefit research, community education and outreach programs of the American Heart Association. Visit www.bearbryantawards.com for more information, and join the conversation on Twitter @ahahouston and #bryantawards and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ahahouston.
About American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases – America's No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional education programs and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit www.heart.org.
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 2014 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.
SOURCE American Heart Association