Oct. 19, 2017 – Former National Champion and College Football Hall of Famer Steve Spurriercan now add another win to his record as the 2018 American Heart Association (AHA) Paul “Bear” Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. The current University of Floridaathletic department ambassador and consultant will receive the award in-person at the 32nd annual awards dinner and ceremony on Jan. 10, 2018 at the Hilton Americas in Houston.
Spurrier was an All-American quarterback at the University of Florida, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1966. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for his success as a player in 1986. In 1990, Spurrier became the head coach at his alma mater, which had no SEC Football Championships in the 57 years prior to his arrival. Spurrier finished his 12-year coaching career at Florida as the winningest coach in school history with a record of 122-27.
“Receiving the Coach Bryant Award from the American Heart Association is one of the best awards for coaching there is in the country. When I was an active coach for 25 years, I did not win it. Winning the Lifetime Achievement Coach Bryant Award is just as good. I am thrilled to be going to Houston to receive this award,” said Steve Spurrier, Ambassador for the University of Florida Athletics Department.
In 2005, Spurrier became the head coach at South Carolina where he would also become the winningest coach in school history. In 2017, Coach Spurrier was recognized for his accomplishments in the coaching world by being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He is one of only four men to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as both a player and coach.
The Paul “Bear” Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award honors a coach for outstanding career accomplishments both on and off the field. Spurrier now joins a roster of the best in college football coaching, including Barry Alvarez (2017) Mack Brown (2016), Jimmy Johnson (2015), R.C. Slocum (2014) and LaVell Edwards (2013), and alongside the legendary Coach Bryant himself.
The announcement of the Paul “Bear” Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award recipient comes on the heels of the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards Watch List announcement on Oct. 18, 2017. Twenty of the best in college football coaching made the lineup, including: Paul Chryst(University of Wisconsin), Mark Dantonio(Michigan State University), Dave Doeren (North Carolina State University), James Franklin (Penn State University), Scott Frost (University of Central Florida), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State University), Clay Helton (University of Southern California), Brian Kelly (University of Notre Dame), Mike Leach (Washington State University), Rocky Long (San Diego State University), Urban Meyer (Ohio State University), Mike Norvell (University of Memphis), Gary Patterson (Texas Christian University), Chris Petersen (University of Washington), Mark Richt(University of Miami), Lincoln Riley (University of Oklahoma), Nick Saban (University of Alabama), Kirby Smart (University of Georgia), Charlie Strong (University of South Florida), and Dabo Swinney (Clemson University.)
Now in its 32nd year, the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards recognize the country’s top college football coaches for their contributions both on and off the field. The Coach of the Year Award is the only college coaching honor selected after all bowl games are concluded and is voted on by the National Sports Media Association.
Behind the scenes, the award is much bigger than a season’s success. It is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on heart disease and stroke – the nation’s no. 1 and no. 5 health threats. Since the adoption of the name, the Bryant Awards have raised over $8.5 Million for the American Heart Association, funding research, education and advocacy efforts and saving countless lives. “Bear” always talked about being bigger than something other than himself. The Bryant Awards offer an opportunity to do just that — to join the American Heart Association in the fight against heart disease and stroke and help save lives.
For the third time in its history, sports aficionados can enjoy the Bryant Awards live on FOX College Sports – available through most cable providers. Fans don’t have to wait until January to join in on the fun, though. For the first time, fans can add their two cents and vote for their favorite Coach of the Year. Fans donate with their dollars – giving lifesaving funds to support healthier communities across the nation. The fan vote will launch soon and the winner will be announced the day after the National Championship Game. Fans can follow the Watch List coaches, learn more about the Fan Vote and be the among the first to know made the finalist list at facebook.com/bryantawards.