STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - Penn State coach Bill O'Brien has earned his fifth recognition as a finalist for a national coaching honor with his selection as one of the six candidates for the 2012 Bear Bryant Coach of the Year.
The ESPN Coach of the Year, O'Brien also is a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year and the Maxwell Football Club's Collegiate Coach of the Year. The first-year Nittany Lion mentor also was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and is among six candidates for the Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year.
O'Brien is among six finalists for the 2012 Bear Bryant Coach of the Year, being joined by: James Franklin (Vanderbilt), Urban Meyer (Ohio State), David Shaw (Stanford), Bill Snyder (Kansas State) and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M).
Sponsored by the American Heart Association and Marathon Oil, the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year will be announced at the 27th annual event on Jan. 17, 2013 in Houston.
O'Brien was named the Big Ten's Dave McClain Coach of the Year (media) and Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (coaches). He was just the seventh first-year head coach to earn the Big Ten-Dave McClain Coach of the Year in the 41 years it has been awarded. O'Brien also was selected national Coach of the Year by ESPN College Football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.
--Penn State Athletic Communications--