12/16 17:45 CST Heupel, Kelly, Saban are finalists for AP coach of year
Heupel, Kelly, Saban are finalists for AP coach of year
By RALPH D. RUSSO
AP College Football Writer
UCF's Josh Heupel, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly and Alabama's Nick Saban are the
finalists for The Associated Press national college football coach of the year
after leading their teams to unbeaten regular seasons.
The winner will be announced Monday at noon EST.
Heupel guided No. 7 Central Florida (12-0) to a second consecutive unbeaten
season. The American Athletic Conference champions will play No. 11 LSU in the
Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1. Kelly led the third-ranked Fighting Irish (12-0) to its
first College Football Playoff appearance. The Irish play No. 2 Clemson in the
Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29. Saban has No. 1 Alabama (13-0) in the playoff for the
fifth consecutive season. The Crimson Tide won the Southeastern Conference and
face No. 4 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29.
The AP coach of the year was established in 1998. Saban is one of two coaches
to win the award twice, along with Gary Patterson of TCU. Saban was coach of
the year with LSU in 2003 and with Alabama in 2008.
Kelly won coach of the year in 2012, the last time he led Notre Dame to a 12-0
Last year's winner was Scott Frost of UCF. No school has ever had different
coaches win the award in consecutive seasons.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and