Penn State coach Bill O'Brien has earned his third recognition in as many days as a finalist for a national coaching honor with his selection as one of three candidates for the 2012 Maxwell Football Club's Collegiate Coach of the Year. Earlier this week, O'Brien and Ohio State's Urban Meyer were named finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year. Michigan's Brady Hoke was named the Maxwell Football Club's Collegiate Coach of the Year last season, the seventh such honor for a coach from a current Big Ten school.
O'Brien was named the Big Ten's Dave McClain Coach of the Year (media) and Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (coaches). He was just the seventh first-year head coach to earn the Dave McClain Coach of the Year in the 41 years it has been awarded. Named Penn State's 15th head football coach on January 6, 2012, he led the Nittany Lions to victories in eight of their final 10 games, earning an 8-4 overall record and a 6-2 mark in the Big Ten, with the only losses coming to division winners Ohio State and Nebraska. O'Brien's eight wins are the most by a first-year Penn State coach in the 126 years of the program.
Voting is underway for the finalist selection for the MFC Collegiate Coach of the Year. Eligible voters include NCAA Bowl Subdivision Head Coaches and Football Sports Information Directors, Maxwell Football Club members and selected national media. The announcement of the winner will be made on December 19 and the award will be formally presented at the 76th Maxwell Awards Gala on March 1, 2012 at the Harrah's Entertainment Resort in Atlantic City. At the March 1 Awards Gala, the Maxwell Football Club also will present its Thomas Brookshier Spirit Award to the 2012 Penn State football seniors in recognition of their commitment, leadership and outstanding effort during this season.
The Maxwell Football Club was founded in 1935 and is the oldest football club of its kind in America. The organization is devoted to recognizing excellence at all levels of football from high school through the NFL ranks. Under the stewardship of MFC President Ron Jaworski the Club has grown rapidly and has members in 40 states. The MFC provides educational and training programs for players and coaches, and also provides scholarships to outstanding student-athletes who demonstrate excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.