2017 Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Watch List
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida head coach Jim McElwain was one of 19 coaches nationally and four from the Southeastern Conference to be named to the preseason watch list for the 2017 Dodd Trophy, officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl announced Wednesday.
McElwain enters his third season at UF this fall and his sixth season overall as a head coach.
The Dodd Trophy, college football’s most coveted coaching award, celebrates the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity – the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s philosophy.
The watch list was created through a selection process by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, taking into consideration each program’s graduation rate, commitment to service and charity in the community, projected success for the 2017 season and Academic Progress Rate (APR).
Coach McElwain joins fellow SEC coaches Nick Saban, Gus Malzahn and Butch Jones as candidates.
Additional watch lists – adding to or narrowing the field – will be released throughout the fall. A panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member will identify the final list of potential recipients at the conclusion of the 2017 season. The winner of the 2017 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Week.
Jim McElwain ‘s Resume
Since McElwain arrived at Florida prior to the 2015 season, only Alabama (28) has more total wins than UF’s 19 in the SEC. In addition, McElwain’s 13 conference wins ranks second to Alabama (15) since the start of 2015.
Overall, the Gators are 19-8 under McElwain, which ties Steve Spurrier for the second-most by a UF head coach through his first two seasons.
Florida finished the 2016 season 9-4 and was the SEC Eastern Division champion with a 6-2 SEC mark. In addition, UF faced 10 bowl-eligible teams throughout the year.
McElwain became the first coach in league history to reach the SEC Championship in his first two seasons as a head coach. Only McElwain, former LSU coach Les Miles (2005) and Auburn’s Gus Malzhan (2013) reached the title game in their first season.
Following a successful debut season in 2015, McElwain was voted the SEC Coach of the Year by his peers and the media, becoming the only coach in school history to garner both awards in his debut season at UF. McElwain led the Gators to a 10-4 overall record last season, making him the first coach in Florida football history to win 10 games in his inaugural campaign. In addition, McElwain became the 10th coach in SEC history to win 10 games in his first season as head coach, and one of only six to do it after inheriting a team that won less than nine games the year prior to his arrival.
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