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Voting Opens on Liberty Mutual Coaching Award

December 15, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty's finest are supporting head coach Danny Rocco for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award, including Liberty co-founder "Dr. Elmer Towns." Be sure to join "Dr. Towns" and support Coach Rocco by voting each day at
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Vote Danny Rocco for Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year

Danny Rocco bio and video from Liberty Mutual

Finalists voting for the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award officially opened today with Liberty's Danny Rocco being one of five I-AA finalists for the second year in a row.

Fan voting, which will comprise 20 percent of each finalist's award scoring, begins today and runs until Dec. 29. Fans can vote once daily by logging onto

If Rocco were to win this year's award, Liberty Mutual will award Rocco $50,000 to donate to the charity of his choice and a $20,000 grant to the Liberty University alumni association for student scholarships and activities. Winners will be announced Jan. 6, 2010, in Los Angeles, in advance of the BCS Championship Game.

"Many passionate fans came out to vote for Coach Rocco because he embodies the college football spirit and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year values," said Greg Gordon, senior vice president of Consumer Marketing at Liberty Mutual. "Coach Rocco has made a great impact on the lives of his student-athletes and his community and we are proud to recognize him as a Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year finalist."

Rocco just completed his fourth year with the program and guided Liberty to its third-straight Big South Conference title. Rocco, a three-time Big South Coach of the Year and two-time Eddie Robinson Award candidate, has posted a 32-13 record since taking over the program, which is the best four-year run in program history.

Joining Rocco among the five FCS finalists are for this year's Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year honor are Tom Gilmore of Holy Cross, Jerry Moore of Appalachian State, Bob Spoo of Eastern Illinois and John Stiegelmeier of South Dakota State.

To ensure candidates are evaluated fairly and measured against the specific values of responsibility and integrity, selection committees of College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches – including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott and Jerry Rice – and the national college football media will also cast votes for the winners. The Hall of Fame and media votes account for 55 percent and 25 percent, respectively, toward the final award winner in each of the five divisions.

Launched in 2006, Liberty Mutual created the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award to celebrate responsible coaching because it is one of the clearest examples of a positive influence on young people, their families and entire communities.

Past winners include 2006 – Greg Schiano (Rutgers); 2007 – Ron Zook (Illinois), Jerry Kill (Southern Illinois), Bill O'Boyle (Chadron State), John Gagliardi (Saint John's); 2008 – Nick Saban (Alabama), Mickey Matthews (James Madison), Chuck Broyles (Pittsburg State), Larry Kehres (Mount Union).

2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Finalists
(listed in alphabetical order)

Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS):
Mack Brown, Texas
Pete Carroll, Southern California
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Al Golden, Temple
Paul Johnson, Ga. Tech
Brian Kelly, Cincinnati
Joe Paterno, Penn State
Gary Patterson, Texas Christian University
Nick Saban, Alabama
Dabo Swinney, Clemson

Football Championship Subdivision (FCS):
Tom Gilmore, Holy Cross
Jerry Moore, Appalachian State
Danny Rocco, Liberty
Bob Spoo, Eastern Illinois
John Stiegelmeier, South Dakota State

Division II:
Bo Atterberry, Texas A&M - Kingsville
Danny Hale, Bloomsburg
Bill Maskill, Midwestern State
Bob Nielson, Minnesota - Duluth
Mel Tjeerdsma, Northwestern Missouri State

Division III:
Steve Briggs, Susquehanna
Greg Debeljak, Case Western Reserve
John Gagliardi, Saint John's (Minn.)
Steve Staker, Coe College
John Troxell, Franklin & Marshall