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September 22, 2010

Watson Brown needs your vote for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year poll

Fans can vote once each day for Golden Eagle coach Watson Brown

Click here to access the page where you can vote.

COOKVILLE, Tenn. -- To college football fans, pride and support for their team is everything - donning team colors; following favorite players as they reach milestones on the field; dedicating countless Saturdays to watching their alma mater do battle.

Every season, fans commit time and energy into each game hoping for the win, the same way coaches invest in their players and communities by encouraging sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence. Today, Liberty Mutual Insurance launches its annual Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, honoring the coaches who give back to their teams, schools and communities, on and off field.

It's an opportunity for Tennessee Tech fans to get behind their head coach by casting a vote each day for Watson Brown.

Fan votes will help determine the finalists, and ultimately, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year winners. Now through December 4, fans are offered the unique opportunity to help their favorite coaches by voting at www.coachoftheyear.com.

Now in its fifth year, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award has donated nearly $1 million to more than 60 charities and scholarship funds on behalf of thirteen previous winners. Each winning coach, selected by a combination of online fan voting and a 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 his school's alumni association, providing further positive impact on their school and local community.

"Year after year, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award recognizes the country's most influential and impactful coaches with the opportunity to continue their good work beyond just the x's and o's," said Archie Manning, Chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, a partner in presenting the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year. "I know from my own days on the field that coaches are the guidepost upon which a team thrives and it is something special when that leadership and example continues off the field."

Liberty Mutual's commitment to the community goes hand in hand with the coaches' support of local projects and organizations. In fact, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award has directly resulted in enhancing many coaches' positive influences on their communities, such as:

* Gary Patterson, TCU (2009, FBS) - One of last year's award winners, Coach Patterson utilized part of his charitable donation toward the Presbyterian Night Shelter, which serves the needs of the homeless in Tarrant County, Texas. Patterson also has his own foundation, which provides funding for programs and scholarships that focus on education, life-skills, and health and family issues.
* Nick Saban, Alabama (2008, FBS) - While coaching at Michigan State, Coach Saban and his wife, Terry, started Nick's Kids Fund and continue the tradition today of promoting and supporting children, family, teacher, and student causes. His Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award helped the fund continue its support of more than 110 organizations that benefit children in need.
* Larry Kehres, University of Mount Union, Ohio (2008, Division III) - Coach Kehres utilized his 2008 award to provide funds to the Alliance Area Habitat for Humanity, which offers housing services to low income families, the Alliance Friends Church to support its youth education, sports and recreation ministry, the Alliance Family YMCA, and the YWCA of Alliance.

"At the end of each season, it's not just about the tallies in the win column. It is about the team's performance on and off the field, and the coach that provides the leadership to balance the two," said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual senior vice president, Consumer Marketing. "The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award recognizes just that - the coaches' excellence on the field, dedication to the student-athletes and responsibility to the community around them. In addition, fans get to support their teams further by playing a role in determining the most deserving coaches throughout college football."

To be eligible for consideration for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, an individual must be a head football coach at an NCAA college or university at any division level. Following an initial fan-only voting phase, 15 finalists will be selected and then again voted upon using the following weight: College Hall of Fame, 55 percent; media, 25 percent; and fans, 20 percent.

All winners will be announced on January 10 in Scottsdale, Ariz., in advance of college football's championship game that evening. The selection process is as follows:

September 14 - December 4: Voting opened to all fans at www.coachoftheyear.com. The top 15 coaches with the most fan votes in each of the four college football divisions, Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A), the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA), Division II, and Division III, advance to an evaluation process using an objective scoring model endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame. The scoring model follows strict criteria, which highlight the importance of coaching excellence, sportsmanship, integrity, academic excellence and community commitment. Visit the website for full scoring criteria.

December 13: Finalists are announced, including 10 coaches from the FBS and five coaches each from the FCS, Division II, and Division III.

December 13-28: Finalist voting opened to all fans at www.coachoftheyear.com. Votes also are cast by two select panels - one representing the College Football Hall of Fame and comprised of select members of the media. Members of these panels include: Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott, Archie Griffin and as well as additional historic football coaches and players; media members' such as famed sports analysts, Kirk Herbstreit, Stewart Mandel and Tim Brando, comprise the media panel.

January 10: The 2010 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award winners will be announced.