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William “Dabo” Swinney Is Awarded the Coach of the Year Award at the 33rd Annual American Heart Association’s Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards

Photo credit:

General Editor: Margaret MacMillan

Publisher: Connie Kwan-Wong

Society Writer: Shannon McKirchy

Dabo Swinney - Clemson

Coach of the Year Recipient

Coach Frank Beamer

Lifetime Achievements Honoree

Jeff Tedford

Fresno State

Bill Clark

Alabama - Birmingham


Jeff Monken - Army


Andy Oates


Marathon Oil held the 33rd Annual American Heart Association’s (AHA) Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards on January 9, 2019 at the Post Oak Hotel. The seven college football coaches nominated for the prestigious Coach of the Year Award were: Bill Clark, University of Alabama – Birmingham; Josh Heupel, University of Central Florida; Brian Kelly, Notre Dame; Jeff Monken, Army West Point; William “Dabo” Swinney, Clemson University; Nick Saban, University of Alabama; and Jeff Tedford, Fresno State University.

William “Dabo” Swinney took home the Coach of the Year Award and is the first coach ever to win it three times. He joins Chris Peterson as the only other coach to win more than once. The National Sports Media Association selects the winner.

The Tiger’s head coach hasn’t stopped smiling since his team’s 44 to 16 win over Alabama in The 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship game on January 7. Of the event and the honor bestowed upon him, Swinney said: “It’s always great to be at this event because that means you had a great year. It’s really that simple. If you get invited here, that means something good happened. That also means you have a bunch of great people around you—great staff, a bunch of great players, and administration. It’s just an honor to be back here. Anything associated with Coach Bryant that I get to be a part of, for me, is pretty special.”

Frank Beamer, former Virginia Tech head coach, was presented with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. He retired in 2015 after 29 seasons coaching the Hokies. Beamer, who was visually touched by joining the ranks of some of the greatest college coaches of all time, had this to say of the honor: “Those are the people who were bigger than life. These guys just seemed amazing. And then to think that you are in the same group as these guys is really pretty humbling for a guy from Fancy Gap, Virginia.” In addition to this award, he was a recipient of the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award in 1999.

The annual award was established in 1986 after the passing of the University of Alabama’s legendary football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant, whose relationship with AHA was personal. Coach Bryant died of heart failure in 1983, only a month after he retired. This inspired his family to form a partnership with the AHA to raise awareness of the disease and fund lifesaving research to fight heart disease and stroke.

Marathon Oil Corporation has served as the presenting sponsor of the Bryant Awards for ten years. The corporation is committed to promoting health and wellness and strives to partner with local organizations to recognize and advance important public health initiatives in the communities where it operates.

About the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards

While the Coach of the Year Award has been an annual tradition since 1957, the AHA adopted and re-named the award in 1986 to honor Bryant, who died of a heart attack in 1983. The Bryant Awards have become a major fundraiser for the AHA, with many business and community leaders and sports figures annually lending support to the event. All funds raised from the Bryant Awards benefit AHA research, advocacy, and educational programs across the country aimed at the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and stroke—the number one and number five killers in the United States.


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association (AHA) is a non-profit organization in the United States devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke—the two leading causes of death in the world. It is the largest non-governmental funder of cardiovascular research in the country and has invested over $4 billion in research since 1949, second only to the federal government. The AHA teams with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. 

To learn more or to get involved, please call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit, or call any of AHA’s offices around the country.

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