HOUSTON — LSU coach Ed Orgeron was named the winner of the 2019 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award on Wednesday.
Orgeron, whose Tigers beat Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday to complete the season with a 15-0 record, is a first-time winner of the award.
“I have the best assistant coaching staff in the world and I accept this [on behalf of] our staff and everybody on our football team,” Orgeron said. “Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”
Orgeron was among nine finalists for the award, which has been given annually to the national coach of the year since 1986 and is named for Bryant, the late legendary Alabama coach. Sonny Dykes (SMU), P.J. Fleck (Minnesota), James Franklin (Penn State), Ken Niumatalolo (Navy), Mike Norvell (formerly of Memphis), Matt Rhule (formerly of Baylor), Dabo Swinney (Clemson) and Kyle Whittingham (Utah) were the other contenders for this year’s award.
Swinney won the award last season and three of the last four years. Orgeron is the first SEC coach to take home the honor since Gus Malzahn in 2013. It’s one of several national coach of the year awards that Orgeron has received for the 2019 season. He also won the Home Depot Coach of the Year, the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year and the Walter Camp Coach of the Year.