American Heart Association’s 2021 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year finalists announced

Have a look below at this year's finalists. Courtesy photo.

Nine of the country's best college football coaches have been announced as finalists for the American Heart Association’s 2021 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award. The illustrious award recognizes coaches for their commitment to the sports on and off the field through winning on game day and every day.

The award ceremony takes place annually in Houston and next year on January 12, 2022 the winning coach will be revealed and awarded the final award of the college football season. The American Heart Association’s 2021 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award is the only award given after all bowls and the national championship. The Coach of the Year award is voted on by the National Sports Media Association, current NCAA College football coaches, former Coach of the Year Award winners, the Bryant Awards’ Executive Leadership Team, and the Bryant family.

Second-year coaches Dave Aranda (Baylor), Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss), and Mel Tucker (Michigan State) join a bevy of coaching excellence as finalists. Among the finalists, Luke Fickell (Cincinnati) and Jim Harbaugh (Michigan) will each coach their teams in the upcoming college football playoff.

The 2021 Coach of the Year finalists are (in alphabetical order by finalist last name):

Big XII – Dave Aranda – Baylor University

ACC – Dave Clawson – Wake Forest University

Group of 5 – Luke Fickell – University of Cincinnati, American Athletic Conference

Big Ten – Jim Harbaugh – University of Michigan

SEC – Lane Kiffin – University of Mississippi

ACC – Pat Narduzzi – University of Pittsburgh

SEC – Nick Saban – University of Alabama

Big Ten – Mel Tucker – Michigan State University

Pac 12 – Kyle Whittingham – University of Utah

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Editor's note: This was recorded before the Astros clobbered the White Sox, 21-5 on Thursday.

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