BOSTON, Mass. – Coaches across the country have spent the entire college football season preparing themselves and readying their teams to take the field each game day. However, for five Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) coaches, their guidance and leadership extends well beyond the playing field, leaving lasting impressions on the players they mentor and the communities they reach.
Liberty Mutual Insurance today announced Towson University Head Football Coach Rob Ambrose as one of five FCS finalists for the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, the leading college football-coaching honor that celebrates coaches for their sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, and for giving back to their teams, schools and communities, on and off field.
The five finalists were determined as a result of online fan voting at www.CoachoftheYear.com and through an objective scoring model endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame. Each coach was among the top 15 in fan votes in FCS to qualify for the model, which considers, among other criteria: wins, team penalties, on-field sportsmanship, academic achievement by the student-athletes, and commitment to charitable endeavors.
Voting continues through December 22 at www.CoachoftheYear.com to help determine the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year winners.
“College football fans clearly recognize Coach Rob Ambrose as one of the game’s true leaders, and we agree he is an excellent finalist for the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award,” said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual senior vice president, Consumer Marketing. “Each year, we ask fans to vote for the coaches who best exemplify the award’s characteristics – sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, on and off the field. Coach Ambrose does just that, through his success on game days, as well as providing leadership to his student-athletes and commitment to the greater Towson community.”
Joining Coach Ambrose among the five FCS finalists for the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award are, in alphabetical order: Rob Ash of Montana State University, Tom Gilmore of the College of the Holy Cross (Mass.), Jerry Moore of Appalachian State University, and Chris Mussman of the University of North Dakota.
“In a time where many people measure success only by wins and losses, we are thrilled to have our own Rob Ambrose named as a 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year finalist,” said Mike Waddell, the Director of Athletics at Towson University. “Coach Ambrose does just as much for his student-athletes and community off the field, as he does on the field, which gives Tiger fans and alumni something to be proud of. Now our fans just have to keep voting for Coach Ambrose to bring home the trophy, and to support his charities and our school.”In only his third season as the Tigers’ coach, Ambrose led the “Turnaround Tigers” to a 9-3 record, one year after they lost 10 of 11 games. Honored as the Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year, the 1993 Towson graduate coached the Tigers to their first-ever CAA championship with a 7-1 record. The most-improved team in NCAA FCS, the Tigers
finished the regular season as the eighth-ranked team in the nation and earned their first-ever NCAA FCS playoff berth.
Fans can visit www.CoachoftheYear.com between December 6 and December 22 to vote daily among the finalists in each division. Selection committees of more than 50 College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches – including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott, Archie Griffin – and the national college football media, such as Kirk Herbstreit, Stewart Mandel and Tim Brando, will also cast votes for the winners to ensure coaches are evaluated fairly and measured against the specific values of responsibility and integrity. Winners are ultimately determined using the following voting weight: fans, 20 percent; College Football Hall of Fame, 55 percent; and college football media, 25 percent.
Liberty Mutual will announce the four winners the morning of the BCS Championship game, January 9, 2012, in New Orleans. If Coach Ambrose is named 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year for FCS, he will receive $50,000 to donate to the charities of his choice and a $20,000 grant to his school's alumni association.
Since 2006, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award has celebrated the work of 17 winning coaches by donating more than $1.2 million to over 80 charities and college alumni scholarship funds across the country. Former Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year FCS winners include: K.C. Keeler, University of Delaware (2010); Jerry Moore, Appalachian State (2009); Mickey Matthews, James Madison University (2008); and Jerry Kill, Southern Illinois University (2007).
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
"Helping people live safer, more secure lives" since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on A.M. Best Company’s report of 2010 net written premium. The Group also ranks 82nd on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2010 revenue. The company has over 45,000 employees located in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual Insurance (libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 13,500 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.
About the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.