USC coach Helton on 2018 Preseason Watch List for the Dodd Trophy

2018 Preseason Watch List

Most coveted national coaching award honors scholarship, leadership and integrity
20 coaches in consideration, representing the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Mountain West, Pac-12, SEC and Notre Dame

ATLANTA (July 10, 2018) –The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl today released the preseason watch list for the 2018 Dodd Trophy.  This list includes 20 of the nation’s top college football coaches representing all Power 5 conferences along with the Mountain West and Notre Dame.

The Dodd Trophy, college football’s most coveted national coaching award, 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.

The watch list was created through a selection process by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, taking into consideration each program’s graduation rate, commitment to service and charity in the community, projected success for the 2018 season and Academic Progress Rate (APR).Coaches in the first year with their current team are ineligible to receive The Dodd Trophy.

“The Dodd Trophy distinguishes itself from other coaching awards due to the high standards used to determine potential candidates,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “This is the most-coveted coaching award because it looks beyond rankings, wins or losses, and measures the overall impact these coaches have on their players, universities and communities.”

“This list includes a renowned group of individuals who truly embody the principles Bobby Dodd adhered to, such as scholarship, leadership and integrity,” said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl CEO & President Gary Stokan. “We look forward to seeing which of these coaches set themselves apart from the rest of the pack as the 2018 season unfolds.”

The coaches on The 2018 Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List include:


Coach School Conference
Paul Chryst Wisconsin Big Ten
James Franklin Penn State Big Ten
Justin Fuente Virginia Tech ACC
Mike Gundy Oklahoma State Big 12
Jim Harbaugh Michigan Big Ten
Bryan Harsin Boise State Mountain West
Clay Helton USC Pac-12
Tom Herman Texas Big 12
Brian Kelly Notre Dame Independent
Gus Malzahn Auburn SEC
Urban Meyer Ohio State Big Ten
Will Muschamp South Carolina SEC
Gary Patterson TCU Big 12
Chris Petersen Washington Pac-12
Mark Richt Miami ACC
Lincoln Riley Oklahoma Big 12
Nick Saban Alabama SEC
David Shaw Stanford Pac-12
Kirby Smart Georgia SEC
Dabo Swinney Clemson ACC

Of the 20 coaches on the watch list, five are previous winners of the Dodd Trophy, including David Shaw (2017), Nick Saban (2014), Dabo Swinney (2011), Chris Petersen (2010) and Gary Patterson (2009). Additionally, four of the coaches were finalists for last year’s award, including Swinney, Paul Chryst, Mark Richt and Kirby Smart. The SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 all tied for the highest number of representatives on this year’s watch list with four coaches from each respective conference.

Additional watch lists – adding to or narrowing the field – will be released throughout the fall. A panel consisting of previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member will identify the final list of potential recipients at the conclusion of the 2018 season. The winner of the 2018 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Week.

Starting in September, the Dodd Coach of the Week Award will also be presented weekly to the coach whose program embodies the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, while also having success on the playing field during the previous week.


About the Dodd Trophy
The Dodd Trophy was established in 1976 to honor the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1A) head football coach whose program represents the highest ideals on and off the field. The award honors the coach of a team which enjoys a successful football season, while also stressing the importance of academic excellence and character, as did Coach Dodd’s teams during his 22 years as head football coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Coach Dodd remains one of college football’s legendary figures, both as a coach and a player. Coach Dodd was a native of Galax, Virginia, and played his college ball at the University of Tennessee where his team had 27 wins, one loss and two ties during the three years he played. Coach Dodd was selected to the National College Football Hall of Fame both as a coach and as a player. Additional information about the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation can be found at For news, updates and insider information, follow us on Twitter at @DoddTrophy or find us on Facebook at

About the Peach Bowl, Inc.
Peach Bowl, Inc. operates the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, one of the New Year’s Six Bowls selected to host the College Football Playoff. This past season, the Peach Bowl celebrated its Golden Season, including its 50-year history of traditions and successes as the nation’s ninth-oldest bowl organization. The Bowl has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the country, with 54 percent of its games being decided by a touchdown or less. Peach Bowl, Inc. has disbursed $240.5 million in team payouts over its 50-year history. Peach Bowl, Inc. also leads all other bowl game organizations in charitable and scholarship contributions, giving more than $31 million to organizations in need since 2002. Peach Bowl, Inc. also runs the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament, manages The Dodd Trophy national coach of the year award and led the relocation and financial foundation of the College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @CFAPeachBowl and find us on Facebook at