BOSTON, Nov. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Each fall week, college football coaches lead their teams on to the field with hopes of guiding their teams to victory. Each week throughout the year, however, coaches also are champions of charity and public service within their communities across the country. And, since 2006, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award has celebrated this work by donating more than $1.2 million to over 80 charities and college alumni scholarship funds through its 17 winning coaches. To help determine where another $280,000 in charitable support and scholarship is directed this year, fans can vote daily through December 3 at coachoftheyear.com for coaches at all four NCAA divisions they believe personify sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, both on and off the field.
Liberty Mutual annually presents its Coach of the Year Award in partnership with the College Football Hall of Fame to one coach each from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II and Division III for their success on the field, student-athlete achievements in the classroom, and continued dedication to their communities and charities. Each winning coach receives $50,000 for his favorite charities and $20,000 in scholarship for his school's alumni association.
"Liberty Mutual Insurance is proud to celebrate the role a college football coach plays in his community, not just on the playing field," said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual senior vice president, Consumer Marketing. "Our Coach of the Year winners exemplify responsibility and integrity, and it is rewarding beyond measure to see the tremendous good they have achieved in their communities with the money from this award."
Texas Christian Coach Gary Patterson, the 2009 FBS winner, similarly used his Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award to remind himself and others of the many people in his own Fort Worth, Texas, community who do not have a safe and warm place to sleep every night. Before his successful days with the Horned Frogs, Patterson lived the nomadic life of a college football coach as he gained knowledge and experience from some of the best coaches in the game. Remembering some early career days that came without regular meals or a warm place to sleep, Patterson used his 2009 award to aid the homeless through the Presbyterian Night Shelter. The Presbyterian Night Shelter provides food, shelter and hope to those without a home and helps people rebound and get back on their feet.
"If football was only about wins and losses, then I think that when you got done you would have an empty feeling," said Coach Patterson. "I have always felt that you have to give back to the community. I probably would not be where I am today without the generosity of others."
University of St. Thomas Coach Glenn Caruso, the 2010 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award winner for Division III, utilized his Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award donation to benefit an organization that literally saved his life. At an early age, Caruso was diagnosed with leukemia and given a grim diagnosis by doctors. His father, Frank "Bucky" Caruso, insisted on another opinion, leading them to Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital where it was discovered that young Glenn was misdiagnosed and suffered rather from a rare blood disorder.
"Due to the vision and generosity of Liberty Mutual and this award, we're able to start a foundation," said Coach Caruso. "We're calling it Bucky's Pride, after my father, 'Bucky' and his pride for his family, and I am very thankful to Liberty Mutual for this opportunity." Through Yale-New Haven Hospital, Bucky's Pride assists and supports families of children affected by cancer and blood diseases.
Additional examples of donations at work in the community include:
Gene Chizik, Auburn University, FBS division winner, 2010 – Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County
Coach Chizik has been an active supporter of the Boys and Girls Clubs wherever he has coached, including the Greater Lee Country chapter, which was the recipient of his Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award charitable contribution. Chizik also works with aTeam Ministries, a non-profit organization providing emotional, spiritual and financial support to families with children fighting cancer.
K.C. Keeler, University of Delaware, FCS division winner, 2010 – Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware
Coach Keeler and his team are renowned leaders in the Newark area and throughout the state. His seemingly endless list of philanthropic activities include co-chairing, with his wife Janice, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware's 2006 One Campaign; acting as an AFCA ambassador to the Jason Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to youth suicide prevention; supporting Autism Delaware, and leading statewide support of the National Marrow Donor program, doubling Delaware participants in 2010
Nick Saban, University of Alabama, FBS division winner, 2008 – Nick's Kids Fund
While coaching at Michigan State, Coach Saban and his wife, Terry, started Nick's Kids Fund and continue the tradition today of promoting and supporting children, family, teacher, and student causes. His Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award helped the fund continue its support of more than 110 organizations that benefit children in need.
Larry Kehres, University of Mount Union, Ohio, Division III winner, 2008 – Habitat for Humanity
Coach Kehres utilized his 2008 award to provide funds to the Alliance Area Habitat for Humanity, which offers housing services to low income families, the Alliance Friends Church to support its youth education, sports and recreation ministry, the Alliance Family YMCA, and the YWCA of Alliance.
TIME STILL REMAINS - LET YOUR VOTE BE HEARD AT COACHOFTHEYEAR.COM
Now through December 3, fans can vote daily for one coach in each division at www.coachoftheyear.com. The top 15 vote recipients at each level will then be evaluated by a scoring model endorsed by the College Hall of Fame, and the finalists – 10 from FBS and five each from FCS, Division II and Division III – will be announced on December 6. Winners will be announced January 9, 2012, in advance of the national championship game in New Orleans.
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
"Helping people live safer, more secure lives" since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on A.M. Best Company's report of 2010 net written premium. The Group also ranks 82nd on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2010 revenue. The company has over 45,000 employees located in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual Insurance (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 13,500 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.
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 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards, 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.
SOURCE Liberty Mutual Insurance