FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - University of Arkansas football head coach Bobby Petrino has been named a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, it was announced Tuesday morning.
Petrino is one of 10 finalists for the award, which celebrates coaches for their sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, and for giving back to their teams, schools and communities, on and off the field. The winner of the award will be announced on January 9, 2012. Razorback fans can visit www.CoachoftheYear.com between December 6 and December 22 to vote for Coach Petrino to win the award. Fan voting, along with committees from the College Football Hall of Fame and college football national media, are used to determine the award winner. If Coach Petrino is named 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, he will receive $50,000 to donate to the charities of his choice and a $20,000 grant to the University of Arkansas Alumni Association.
"College football fans clearly recognize Coach Petrino as one of the games true leaders, and we agree he is an excellent finalist for the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award," said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual senior vice president, Consumer Marketing. "Each year, we ask fans to vote for the coaches who best exemplify the award's characteristics - sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, on and off the field. Bobby Petrino does just that, through his success on game days, as well as providing leadership to his student-athletes and commitment to the greater Arkansas community."
Now in his fourth year at the helm of the Arkansas football program, Coach Petrino has led the Razorbacks to a 10-2 record, marking consecutive 10-win seasons for the Razorbacks for just the third time in school history and the first time since 1988-89. Arkansas also went 6-2 in SEC play, marking the first time in school history UA has winning SEC records in back-to-back seasons.
Coach Petrino is also actively involved in the community, not only in Northwest Arkansas, but throughout the Natural State. Coach Petrino and his wife Becky donated $250,000 to the Arkansas Children's Hospital last September. That gift will support construction of the hospital's South Wing, set to open in July 2012. Coach Petrino also strives to teach his players life lessons. Leadership classes and an etiquette dinner are two examples of the programs Coach Petrino has had players attend in order to prepare them for life beyond football.
Joining Coach Petrino as finalists in the Football Bowl Subdivision are Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State University; Brady Hoke, University of Michigan; Mark Hudspeth; University of Louisiana at Lafayette; Mike London, University of Virginia; Les Miles, Louisiana State University; Mark Richt, University of Georgia; Nick Saban, University of Alabama; Bill Snyder, Kansas State University; and Dabo Swinney, Clemson University.