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Brian Kelly Wins Bobby Dodd Trophy As Coach Of The Year

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Brian Kelly has won three Coach of the Year awards from different outlets this year.
Bill Panzica

Brian Kelly received his third 2018 Coach Of The Year this month when on Friday morning he was named the recipient of the Dodd Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s top coach based on scholarship, leadership and integrity.

Earlier this month Kelly was honored as the Home Depot Coach Of The Year (Dec. 5) and the Associated Press Coach Of The Year (Dec. 17) for guiding the Fighting Irish to a 12-0 regular season and the school’s first College Football Playoff bid in the five-year history of the event.

Kelly received the award over six other finalists: Dino Babers (Syracuse), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma), Nick Saban (Alabama), Kirby Smart (Georgia) and his opponent this Saturday, Dabo Swinney (Clemson)

“Coach Kelly has had an incredible season leading the Irish to their first-ever appearance in the College Football Playoff, while simultaneously striving for academic excellence from his players and making a difference in his community,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation.

“It’s an honor to be selected as the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year,” said Kelly. “I accept this award on behalf of our team, university, staff and fans. Coach Dodd is a legend. He emphasized scholarship, leadership and integrity, and we do the same at Notre Dame.”

Kelly also is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, announced Jan. 5.

He now has the distinction as the lone Notre Dame head coach to win any Coach of the Year Award twice in his career at the school. Home Depot selected him the third time (2009 at Cincinnati, and 2012 and 2018 at Notre Dame) since it was first presented in 1994, making him the lone multiple winner of that honor.

Furthermore since the AP award’s inception in 1998, Kelly has been bestowed that honor twice, previously winning it in 2012 after his first 12-0 regular season with the Fighting Irish. He joins Saban — who won the AP award in 2003 at LSU and 2008 at Alabama — and TCU’s Gary Patterson (2009 and 2014) as the lone multiple recipients.

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