Gene Chizik has been named the second recipient of the Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award. The award commemorates Bowden's outstanding coaching career and is awarded annually to honor excellence in college football coaching. University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban won the inaugural award last year after leading the Crimson Tide to the BCS National Championship. Chizik, whose Auburn team won the BCS National Championship this year, beat out six other finalists for the honor.
In response to winning the award, Chizik said, "It's certainly an honor, obviously a great honor to be associated with not just a great coach but a great individual like Bobby Bowden. I'm very humbled and very flattered that I was even thought about for the award."
Chizik was voted as the recipient of the award by the Over the Mountain Touchdown Club (OMTC) of Birmingham, Alabama, and the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA). NSSA, which is headquartered in Salisbury, North Carolina, is a national organization of sports media members and is the American chapter of the International Sports Press Association. NSSA also votes on the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award. NSSA produced twenty voters from among its members to vote on the award, equally divided from among the Northeast, South, Midwest and West regions of the United States.
Dave Goren, the Executive Director of NSSA, said, "The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association would like to congratulate Coach Chizik for winning the Bowden Award as well as the BCS National Championship. Having heard him speak before, I know he credits the entire Auburn family for his success. He is a 'we' guy, not an 'I' guy, and I think he is a wonderful representative of what this award stands for." For more information on NSSA, visit its website at http://www.nssafame.com .