The American Heart Association (AHA) and title sponsor Marathon Oil Corporation are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2015 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of theYear Award. Based on the following coaches’ performance on and off the field this season, nominees for the coveted award include: Larry Fedora (North Carolina), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa), Tom Herman (Houston), Ken Niumatalolo (Navy), Nick Saban (Alabama), David Shaw (Stanford) and Dabo Swinney(Clemson).

As finalists, these coaches join an elite group of men recognized for their outstanding leadership in thecollege football arena. Finalists will attend the 30th anniversary awards banquet on Jan. 13, 2016, at the Hilton Americas Houston, where the winner will be announced live. The American Heart Association’s Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award is the only college coaching honor determined after all bowl games are concluded and is voted on by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA). The 2014 winner was Gary Patterson of TCU.

Mack Brown, former longtime University of Texas at Austin head football coach, will be the recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. Among the past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award are Jimmy Johnson (2015), R.C. Slocum (2014), LaVell Edwards (2013) and Hayden Fry (2012).

Since 1986, the Bryant Awards have raised more than $6 million for the American Heart Association to fund research, advocacy and educational programs across the country aimed at the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Bryant himself died of a heart attack in 1983. The 2016 event marks the 30th anniversary of the American Heart Association’s involvement. For more information, or to purchase tickets or a table for the event, contact 832-918-4030 or visit www.bryantawards.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @ahahouston and #bryantawards.