After what he was able to endure last season – injuries, offensive struggles, switching quarterbacks in the national championship game, etc… — the fact that Nick Saban still coached Alabama to a title and did not earn Coach of the Year honors is confusing for a lot of people.
On Wednesday, the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl announced its 20 preseason candidates for the 2018 Dodd Trophy. Saban was among the names listed as well as his former assistants, Kirby Smart of Georgia and Will Muschamp of South Carolina.
The five-time national championship coach for the Crimson Tide won the Dodd Trophy in 2014, following a season where the program won a Southeastern Conference championship and appeared in the first-ever College Football Playoff. In looking at the Dodd Trophy, it is college football’s most coveted national coaching award.
Since its origin in 1976, the Dodd Trophy celebrates the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity – the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s coaching philosophy.
As Saban turns 67 this October, he intends to not only get back to a national championship but possibly take home a marquee national coaching award.
His latest huge award season was in 2016, the year in which he won both George Munger and SEC Coach of the Year honors.