HOUSTON, Texas Boise State University head football coach Chris Petersen capped off an incredible 2006 season on Thursday (Jan. 11) when he was named the Paul “Bear” Bryant College Coach of the Year.

            The award is part of the Paul “Bear” Bryant College Football Coaching Awards which is held annually to benefit the American Heart Association and honor excellence in coaching.  The honor is the first individual national award ever won by a member of a Boise State football team at the I-A level.  Members of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association voted on the award.

            In his first year as an intercollegiate head coach, Petersen guided the Broncos to a 43-42 overtime victory over the University of Oklahoma in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, their fifth straight Western Athletic Conference Championship and the only undefeated I-A record in the country at 13-0. 

            Petersen’s undefeated season makes him only the second head coach in college football history to post a record of 13-0 in their first season as a head coach.  The other was in 1888 when Walter Camp led Yale University to a 13-0 record.

            This is the second coach of the year award for Petersen.  Last month he was named the Region 4 Coach of the Year award from the American Football Coaches Association.  Petersen was also a finalists for several other coach of the year award including the AFCA and the Eddie Robinson Award selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

            Other finalists for the award included Bret Bielema of Wisconsin, Lloyd Carr of Michigan, Greg Schiano of Rutgers and Bob Stoops of Oklahoma.

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