College Football Fans Can Support Their Teams with a Click: Voting Opens Today for the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award
September 14, 2009
In Award’s First Three Years, Liberty Mutual Insurance Has Donated $680,000 on Behalf of These On-Field Winners to Positively Change Lives Off the Field
BOSTON–College football fans are no stranger to reaching for their wallets to support their team: from gameday tickets to souvenirs, including authentic jerseys that can cost more than $200. While these investments certainly add to a fun experience, what if fans also could support their team in a way that uplifted their entire community, from aiding charities to funding scholarships–and at no cost? One free way to support your favorite team, and perhaps help your coach earn $70,000 toward charities and scholarship, is to cast a vote daily, beginning today through December 6, for the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award at www.coachoftheyear.com. This award, the only national college football award that gives fans the ability to help determine the finalists and ultimate winner, celebrates the college football coach in each NCAA division who best exemplifies sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence on and off the field.
More than just awarding a trophy, Liberty Mutual Insurance has donated $680,000 in three years to support dozens of national and local charities and college scholarship funds on behalf of nine winning coaches. Each winning coach, determined by a combination of online fan voting and an elite selection committee of college football media and College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches, receives $50,000 to donate to the charities of their choice and a $20,000 grant to donate to his school's alumni association to enhance student scholarships and activities.
“Through my own experience and the experience of watching my sons grow up playing football, I know that coaches have many shoes to fill as teachers, leaders, role models and friends,” said Archie Manning, Chairman of the National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame, which helped create the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award in 2006. “By recognizing the impact coaches have in the lives of their students and communities, Liberty Mutual is calling upon the passionate college football fan to help their coach continue to make a difference.”
Indeed, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award has helped each past winner have a tangible, positive impact on the lives of many. Some examples include:
• Nick Saban, Alabama (2008, FBS) – Coach Saban and his wife, Terry, started Nick’s Kids Fund in the 1990s while at Michigan State, a legacy of giving he brought to Tuscaloosa in 2007. His Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award is helping the fund continue to support more than 110 organizations that benefit children in need.
• Jerry Kill, Northern Illinois (2007, FCS) – having battled kidney cancer in 2005, the then-Southern Illinois coach, started the Coach Kill Cancer Fund to assist patients and their families with medical costs and other associated expenses. His Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award money directly helped more than 100 families battle the disease.
• Chuck Broyles, Pittsburg State (2008, Division II) – a long-time advocate of community causes, Coach Chuck Broyles directed his donations to provide Pittsburg (Kan.) YMCA memberships to 200 underprivileged children, fund a safe haven for young abuse victims, and help support area cancer patients.
• Larry Kehres, Mount Union (2008, Division III) – Coach Kehres used portions of his Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award to help families in need through Habitat for Humanity in Alliance, Ohio.
“While winning on the field is one important measure of success, we celebrate coaches who also embrace their responsibility to their student-athletes and communities off the field,” said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual senior vice president, Consumer Marketing. “And by voting, college football fans play an integral role in helping local charities across the country continue their vital work, especially during a time when funding sources are reduced.”
Voting for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year:
All head football coaches at an NCAA-member college or university at all division levels are eligible for consideration. The timeline and process is:
• September 14 – December 6: Fans vote online at www.coachoftheyear.com. The top 15 coaches with the most fan votes in each of the four NCAA divisions will then advance to an evaluation process using an objective scoring model endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame. The scoring model criteria, detailed on the website, include coaching excellence, sportsmanship, integrity, academic excellence and community commitment.
• December 15: Finalists are announced, including 10 coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A); and five coaches each from the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA), Division II, and Division III.
• December 15 – December 29: Fans vote online at www.coachoftheyear.com among the finalists. Votes also are cast by two select panels – one representing the College Football Hall of Fame, including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, and a host of other legends of the game; and the other comprised of select members of the media, including Kirk Herbstreit. Winners are determined using the following voting weight: Hall of Fame 55 percent, Media 25 percent, and Fans 20 percent.
• January 6: The 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award winners are announced.
Fan Destination: www.coachoftheyear.com
Once again, Liberty Mutual has teamed up with Manning and ESPN broadcaster Kirk Herbstreit to engage fans throughout the season with fun and informative content at www.coachoftheyear.com. Highlights include:
• “Coach Insider,” an off the field spotlight on some of today’s greatest coaches and the impact they are making on their players, programs and communities everyday.
• A “Pass It On” video highlighting how some of the winning coaches and Liberty Mutual teamed up to make a difference.
• A “SuperFan” Viral Video, starring Herbstreit, which a fan can personalize to encourage a friend to vote for their coach and then send via the website or Facebook.
Launched in 2006, Liberty Mutual created the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award to celebrate responsible coaching because it is one of the clearest examples of a positive influence on young people, their families and entire communities. Past winners include 2006 – Greg Schiano (Rutgers); 2007 – Ron Zook (Illinois), Jerry Kill (Southern Illinois), Bill O’Boyle (Chadron State), John Gagliardi (Saint John’s); 2008 – Nick Saban (Alabama), Mickey Matthews (James Madison), Chuck Broyles (Pittsburg State), Larry Kehres (Mount Union).
About Liberty Mutual Group
“Helping people live safer, more secure lives” since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group (Libertymutualgroup.com) is a diversified global insurer and fifth-largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2008 direct written premium. Liberty Mutual Group ranks 86th on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2008 revenue. The company has over 45,000 employees located in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 12,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.
About the National Football Foundation & the College Football Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, Play It Smart, the NFF-FWAA Football Forum, the NFF Gridiron Club of New York City, and scholarships of over $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Trophy, the Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org or www.collegefootball.org.