Coach Rich Brooks has been named to the watch list for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award signifying the national coach of the year.
Brooks is one of 16 coaches on the watch list, which also includes Mike Bellotti (Oregon). Lloyd Carr (Michigan), Randy Edsall (Connecticut), Dennis Erickson (Arizona State), Jeff Jagodzinski (Boston College), June Jones (Hawaii), Mark Mangino (Kansas), Les Miles (LSU), Chris Petersen (Boise State), Gary Pinkel (Missouri), Mark Richt (Georgia), Rich Rodriguez (West Virginia), Nick Saban (Alabama), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), and Jim Tressell (Ohio State). The award is given by the American Heart Association of Houston, Texas.
Brooks won the Bryant Award in 1994 when he guided the Oregon Ducks to the Rose Bowl. This season, he has guided Kentucky to a 6-3 record, including two wins over teams ranked in the top 10 at the time, then-No. 9 Louisville and then-No. 1 LSU. The Wildcats reached the top 10 rankings for the first time in 30 years and have been listed in the Bowl Championship Series rankings for the first time in school history.
In addition to the Bryant Award, Brooks also is on the watch list for the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award.