Nick Saban among four SEC head football coaches named to Dodd Trophy preseason watch list


FILE – Alabama head coach Nick Saban leaves the field after their win against Ohio State in an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game in Miami Gardens, Fla., in this Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, file photo. Saban, who has won a record seven national championships, has agreed to a three-year contract extension running through the 2029 season. Alabama announced the extension on Monday, June 7, 2021, including $8.425 million in base salary and talent fee for the current contract year with annual raises of unspecified amounts. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Four SEC coaches, including Alabama’s Nick Saban, are among the 17 head football coaches named to the Dodd Trophy preseason watch list.

The Dodd Trophy, awarded annually, is one of the most coveted awards in college football. It is awarded to a coach who sees success on the gridiron, but also demonstrates the three pillars of coach Bobby Dodd’s coaching style – scholarship, leadership, and integrity.

The preseason list considered each program’s graduation rate, commitment to service and charity in the community, projected success for the upcoming 2021 season, and academic progress rate.

The academic progress rate is an NCAA metric that measures the eligibility of student-athletes throughout each term.

  • Each student-athlete receiving athletically related financial aid earns one point for staying in school and one point for being academically eligible.
  • A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by 1,000 to equal the team’s Academic Progress Rate.

A four-year average APR of 930 is required to compete in NCAA championships.

In addition to Saban, the 16 other coaches on the list include:

  • Tom Allen, Indiana
  • Mack Brown, North Carolina
  • Matt Campbell, Iowa State
  • Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina
  • Paul Chryst, Wisconsin
  • Ryan Day, Ohio State
  • Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
  • Luke Fickell, Cincinnati
  • Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M
  • James Franklin, Penn State
  • Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
  • Jimmy Lake, Washington
  • Dan Mullen, Florida
  • Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma
  • Kirby Smart, Georgia
  • Dabo Swinney, Clemson

If Saban wins the award, it would be his second – he won his first in 2014 with the Crimson Tide.

Fisher, Mullen, and Smart are the other SEC coaches on the preseason watch list.

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