Jan. 7, 2013
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - As the Fighting Irish looked to put the finishing touches on a perfect season with a win in Monday's BCS Championship Game, University of Notre Dame Head Football Coach Brian Kelly received the ultimate reward for his positive impact on his players, school, and community.
Liberty Mutual Insurance, in partnership with the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame, announced Coach Kelly as the 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award winner for the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award is the leading college football honor recognizing coaches for their sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, on and off field.
As Coach of the Year, Liberty Mutual will award Coach Kelly $50,000 to support his favorite charities and $20,000 in scholarship to the University of Notre Dame Alumni Association. The charitable award will be directed to help further the work of the Kelly Cares Foundation, started in 2008 by Kelly and his wife, Paqui, which has an emphasis on breast cancer research, education and awareness.
Since 2007, Liberty Mutual Insurance has provided $1.75 million to support charities and alumni association scholarship funds on behalf of its Coach of the Year winners.
Coach Kelly's superior season and commitment to his players and community elevated him above a group of ten FBS coach finalists through fan votes cast December 4-20 at CoachoftheYear.com and ballots from elite selection committees of national media and College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches. Fans votes contributed 20 percent to each coach's final score, and the media and College Football Hall of Fame accounted for 25 percent and 55 percent, respectively.
The other 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year winners are Willie Fritz, Sam Houston State (FCS); Peter Rossomando, New Haven (Conn.) (Division II); and Glenn Caruso, St. Thomas (Minn.) (Division III).
"We are excited to stand with the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, as well as Notre Dame fans, to recognize Coach Kelly's role in helping his student-athletes achieve their full potential on and off the field of play," said Jim MacPhee, senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer, Liberty Mutual Personal Insurance. "Each year, our winners are able to positively impact their schools, communities and beyond through our award, and we are excited to further support Coach Kelly's good work as a Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year."
Since taking the coaching reins of one of college football's most storied programs, Coach Brian Kelly has led Notre Dame's resurgence as a national power. In three seasons, Coach Kelly's Fighting Irish have amassed a 28-11 record, including an unblemished 2012 regular season and appearance in the BCS National Championship. That win total ties Kelly for the most by any Notre Dame head coach through his first three seasons in South Bend.
A devoted supporter of charity and education, Coach Kelly's on-field success is matched only by his community work off the field. In addition to the work of the Kelly Cares Foundation, the Kelly's also provided a $250,000 gift to the university to support cancer research, Notre Dame's Hesburgh Library system, and the Robinson Community Learning Center, which provides tutoring, violence-prevention programs, youth entrepreneurship and performing arts projects for at-risk families in South Bend. Kelly also has established a $250,000 endowment scholarship for football players at his alma mater Assumption College.
Kelly's student-athletes also thrive in the classroom, with an academic progress rate score that is nearly 20 points higher than the FBS average. This year, four Irish players were named to the Hampshire Honor Society, earned by achieving a minimum 3.2 grade point average throughout their college careers, two players were named first-team Academic All-Americans, and for the second consecutive year produced a National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete. In 2012, Notre Dame became the first FBS football team to be ranked No. 1 in the polls and No. 1 in graduation success.