HOUSTON, Jan. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State takes the Coach of the Year title at the Marathon Oil Corporation Paul "Bear" Bryant Awards, which raises funds annually for the American Heart Association.
The Coach of the Year winner is selected each year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and announced live at the awards dinner. The award recognizes excellence in coaching both on and off the field while raising funds to fight heart disease and stroke.
"I thought the guy who had to give the speech was the one who won, so I didn't prepare any notes," Gundy said. "We have a tradition in college football where the name of Paul "Bear" Bryant is synonymous with winners. To even be here is a huge accomplishment for our players and staff and I want to give credit to them. This really means a lot."
A decorated Oklahoma high school athlete and one of the most successful quarterbacks in OSU history, Gundy is still the youngest coach in the Big 12 Conference, but has validated his selection in a big way. Oklahoma State has reached the Associated Press top 10 in four consecutive seasons and has not only set a school record for first-team all-league selections, but also for first-team academic all-conference selections. In the seven years since his hiring he has established Oklahoma State as not only a program on the rise, but a program that has arrived.
Under Mike Gundy, the Oklahoma State Cowboys claimed the Big 12 crown for 2011. He led the Cowboys to an impressive 12-1 record with a win in the BCS Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. This is the second year in a row that Gundy has put the Cowboys at the top of the Big 12. The Cowboys are 22-3 over the last two seasons and OSU has the Big 12's best conference record since 2009 at 20-5. During that same time frame OSU has been one of the country's best road teams with a 13-2 record.
The finalists competing with Gundy for the Coach of the Year Award include: Art Briles, Baylor University; Brady Hoke, University of Michigan; Les Miles, Louisiana State University; David Shaw, Stanford University; Bill Snyder, Kansas State University; Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M University (2011 - University of Houston); and Dabo Swinney, Clemson University.
The 26th annual event also recognized former University of Iowa Head Football Coach Hayden Fry as the Lifetime Achievement recipient. Recent Lifetime Achievement recipients include Barry Switzer, Glenn "Bo" Schembechler, and Bobby Bowden.
Funds raised benefit research, community education and outreach programs of the American Heart Association. For more information, contact 713-610-5000 or visit www.bryantawards.com.
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. 4 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational 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.
Marathon Oil Corporation
Marathon Oil Corporation is an international energy company engaged in exploration and production, oil sands mining and integrated gas. At the end of 2010, Marathon Oil had net proved reserves of more than 1.6 billion barrels. Based in Houston, Texas, the Company has proved reserves in North America, the North Sea and Africa. For more information, visit the Company's website at http://www.marathonoil.com.
The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association is the largest national association that focuses on the crafts of both sportscasting and sportswriting. The association, with its headquarters in Salisbury, N.C., honors the National Sportscaster of the Year and the National Sportswriter of the Year.
Media Contact: Shelly Millwee
American Heart Association
SOURCE American Heart Association