Five Finalist Named for Bowden Coach of the Year Award

The Bobby Bowden Coach of the Year award ceremony will take place in Birmingham, Alabama at the Cahaba Grand Conference center on March 2, 2014.

For those wanting pictures from the Bobby Bowden Coach of the Year Award Banquet with Nick Saban and Brent Musburger, please visit ProCat's website here.

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MTM Midwest Trophy Manufacturing of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is the manufacturer of the trophy memorializing the award. MTM is the leading manufacturer of trophies for major awards across the spectrum of sports. Among other nationally known awards, MTM makes trophies for the Heisman Memorial Award; the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award; the NCAA Championships; the Orange, Fiesta, Sugar, and Cotton Bowls; the World Series MVP; the Big 12 Conference Championship; and more than a dozen NASCAR races.

MTM and the Over the Mountain Touchdown Club of Birmingham painstakingly designed the trophy to evoke the characteristics that Bowden and the award's presenters share and, most importantly, honor Bowden's legacy. The trophy, which stands at more than twenty-three inches tall and fourteen inches wide, is made of wood, granite, iron and gold. It features an image of Bowden topped with a fourteen-pound iron football, which features the logos of its presenters.

The trophy incorporates images of two offset mountain ranges, which also appear on the logo of the Over the Mountain Touchdown Club. The mountain ranges symbolize Red Mountain, a long ridge defining Birmingham, which is part of the Ridge-and-Valley region of the Appalachian Mountains. Red Mountain drew its name from its rust-stained rock faces and prominent seams of red iron ore. The mountains on the trophy are made of rose-colored maple wood to replicate the red coloring of Red Mountain. Fourteen-karat gold overlay backs the mountain ranges to establish that the award is the gold standard of all coaching awards. Bowden's image, etched into the black granite stone of the trophy, is perched atop the mountain ranges, signifying that the award winner has reached the summit of his coaching career.

The trophy features a circular granite disk upon which the crowning iron football sits. The disk's iron is from Birmingham, which was once the primary industrial center of the Southern United States. Like Pittsburgh in the North, Birmingham's major industries used to be iron and steel production, which earned it the nickname "The Pittsburgh of the South." The iron used in the trophy forges the connection between Bowden and his hometown.

The disk's circular shape evokes the letter "O," in recognition of the word "Over" in the presenting club's name, and the disk itself rests "over" the mountain images on the trophy. The disk's circular shape is also representative of the never ending effect Bowden's influence will have on his former players, who will doubtlessly impart to others the lessons they have learned from him.

Inscribed on the trophy are the words "perseverance," "attitude," "integrity," and "determination." Bowden has exemplified these attributes throughout his coaching career and life. These attributes have been P.A.I.D and are a part of the standards used in determining the recipient of the award.

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Nick Saban - The University of Alabama 2011 Bobby Bowden - National Collegiate Coach of the Year

Nicholas Lou "Nick" Saban (born October 31, 1951), Head Coach of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide is the 2011 winner of the Bobby Bowden ~ National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award presented by the Over the Mountain Touchdown Club of Birmingham Alabama in conjunction with the National Sports Writers and Sports Broadcasters of America (NSSA).

The 2011 football season at the University of Alabama will be one that will go down in history as one of the greatest seasons ever enjoyed by a collegiate football team because of the way it had to win the national championship in a re-match against one of its biggest rivals. It was the Crimson Tide's 119th overall and 79th season as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and its 20th within the SEC Western Division. The team was led by head coach Nick Saban, in his fifth year. They finished the season with a record of twelve wins and one loss (12–1 overall, 7–1 in the SEC) and as consensus national champions. With seventeen returning starters from the previous season, Alabama entered their 2011 campaign ranked as the number two team in the nation and as a favorite to win the Western Division and compete for the SEC championship. There were many highlights of the 2011 season including an impressive road win in “Happy Valley” at Penn State which would ultimately be Joe Paterno’s last loss of his career.

An early season showdown in front of a national audience on CBS and against the Arkansas Razorbacks would determine which western division team would continue on its run at the SEC Championship and a possible BCS National Championship. The game has many swings early on but the defense shut down the potent passing attack of the hogs and came away with a lopsided victory. Another impressive win on national television against the Florida Gators separated the contenders from the pretenders as the shape of the season was starting to take place. Bama found itself on the cover of Sports Illustrated bearing the headline “The Crimson Tide’s Defense Could Be the Best Ever” and the statement bore witness to America that this was not just another great Bama football team. Living up to the moniker became the hard thing but the Crimson Tide answered the call and Trent Richardson starting making his run at the Heisman Trophy as well.

With a big blowout over rival Tennessee Alabama seemed to have only one roadblock in its way. The LSU tigers had shown plenty of flare throughout the season, but Bama had the Tigers at home and most thought the home field advantage as well as the vaulted defense would secure the Crimson Tide a victory. However, Alabama lost to the LSU Tigers in their regular season matchup as the game became a game of miss opportunities for the Tide. Two field goals by both teams was the entire scoring in regulation but Alabama seemed to have had more opportunities that it was unable to capitalize on and so the game went into overtime. Miscues again haunted Bama and as a result the Tigers were able to kick its third field goal of the night to stay undefeated. As a result of the loss, Bama did not qualify for the 2011 SEC Championship Game. However despite not winning their conference championship, when the final Bowl Championship Series rankings were released, Alabama had worked its way back up to a number two ranking to qualify for the 2012 BCS National Championship Game that was held on Monday, January 9, 2012, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Alabama made the most of its second chance at the Tigers and crushed LSU 21-0 to win their 14th national championship. It was evident early that the Tide had the upper hand both on offense and defense. AJ McCarron repeatedly beat the LSU secondary to move the Tide in three scoring opportunities in the first half. The second half brought more of the same and when Trent Richardson bounced outside in the fourth quarter and outran the LSU defense to the end zone it marked the first touchdown between the two rivals in the regular season or the champions game. More importantly, it nailed the coffin shut and secured one of the most impressive showings in a BCS National Championship game ever. It also was the first shutout in a national championship game since the 1992 Orange Bowl and the first ever shutout in a BCS bowl game. This was Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide’s second BCS Championship in three years.

The 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide just capped off a season as arguably the greatest defense in college football history. At the conclusion of the season, the Alabama defense led the nation in every major statistical category, and was the first to do so since the 1986 season. This was the first defense in 26 years to lead the nation in total, passing, rushing and scoring defense. Multiple touchdowns were surrendered in only three games and only one team scored more than 20 points against them. Additionally, several players were recognized for the individual accomplishments on the field. Barrett Jones won both the Wuerffel Trophy and the Outland Trophy; and Trent Richardson won the Doak Walker Award, was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Also, seven players were named to various All-America Teams with Dont'a Hightower being a consensus selection and Mark Barron, Jones and Richardson each being unanimous selections.

Coach Saban has previously served as head coach at LSU, Michigan State and Toledo. He appeared on the September 1, 2008 cover of Forbes magazine as "Sports' Most Powerful Coach” and the 2009 season proved that statement true. Saban's career record as a collegiate head coach is 124–50–1. Coach Saban led LSU to the 2003 BCS national championship, and Alabama to the 2009 and 2011 BCS and AP National Championships, making him the only coach to ever win 3 BCS National Championships.

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Nick Saban University of Alabama ~ Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year - 2011

Lee Corso ESPN ~ Lifetime Achievement Award - 2011

Gene Chezik, Auburn University ~ Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year - 2010


Nick Saban University of Alabama ~ Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year - 2009

Bobby Bowden ~ Lifetime Achievement Award - 2009

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Faces in the Crowd
For more pictures of the most recent Bobby Bowden Banquet click here