HOUSTON, Texas - Boise State Head Football Coach Chris Petersen earned a familiar postseason honor on Thursday (Dec. 17), as he was named one of seven finalists for the 2009 Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year Award. Petersen won the award in 2006 and has been named a finalist three times in four years (2006, 2008 and 2009).
The "Bear" Bryant Award, which began in 1986, is named in honor of legendary college football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. It is currently the only postseason coaching award that takes bowl games into consideration. This year's list of finalists includes Mack Brown (Texas), Jim Harbaugh (Stanford), Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech), Chip Kelly (Oregon), Chris Petersen (Boise State), Nick Saban (Alabama) and Kevin Sumlin (Houston).
Coach Petersen received the nomination after leading Boise State to a perfect 13-0 record, which marks his second consecutive undefeated regular season; Boise State's third in four years. The Broncos' season was capped by winning their seventh Western Athletic Conference Championship in eight years, while earning the school's second ever invitation to a Bowl Championship Series postseason bowl game.
The winner of the 2009 "Bear" Bryant Award will be voted on by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and announced on Jan. 14 at an awards dinner benefiting the American Heart Association.
No. 6 Boise State will look to wrap up its' second undefeated season under Coach Petersen when the Broncos face No. 4 TCU in the 2010 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., Jan. 4. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.