Dodd Trophy Releases 2024 Preseason Watch List

ATLANTA (July 8, 2024) – The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc. today released the preseason watch list for the 2024 Dodd Trophy Presented by PNC Bank. This year’s list includes 21 of the nation’s top college football coaches representing all Power Four conferences, as well as an independent.

Managed by Peach Bowl, Inc. and presented by PNC Bank, The Dodd Trophy, college football’s most coveted national coaching award, celebrates the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity – the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s coaching philosophy.

The watch list was created through a selection process by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc. taking into consideration each program’s Academic Progress Rate (APR), Graduation Success Rate (GSR), commitment to service and charity in the community, as well as projected success for the 2024 season.

Coaches in the first year with their current teams were not included as they are ineligible to receive The Dodd Trophy until their second year with their program.

“The Dodd Trophy continues to be the most coveted coach of the year award due to what we call the ‘Dodd Difference,’ where coaches are held to a higher standard, both on and off the field,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Boddy Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “This award is about more than just wins on the gridiron, but also focuses on how these coaches embody leadership with their student-athletes in the classroom and throughout their communities. As a result, we only consider coaches whose programs have earned the highest APRs and require coaches to have at least two years of experience leading their current programs, so that they have had time to establish a precedent at their universities.”

The 2024 Dodd Trophy Presented by PNC Bank Preseason Watch List:

CoachSchoolConferenceAPR (2022-23)
Jeff BrohmLouisvilleACC982
Mario CristobalMiami (FL)ACC1000
Ryan DayOhio StateBig Ten1000
Dave DoerenNC StateACC984
Eliah DrinkwitzMizzouSEC997
Kirk FerentzIowaBig Ten993
James FranklinPenn StateBig Ten959
Marcus FreemanNotre DameIndependent1000
Mike GundyOklahoma StateBig 12965
Josh HeupelTennesseeSEC965
Brian KellyLSUSEC977
Lane KiffinOle MissSEC993
Chris KliemanKansas StateBig 121000
Lance LeipoldKansasBig 121000
Mike NorvellFlorida StateACC997
Brent PryVirginia TechACC990
Lincoln RileyUSCBig Ten987
Steve SarkisianTexasSEC997
Kirby SmartGeorgiaSEC972
Dabo SwinneyClemsonACC997
Kyle WhittinghamUtahBig 12971

These collective coaches have combined for four national championships, 39 FBS conference titles and secured 2,135 career wins throughout their careers.

Of the 21 coaches on the watch list, five are previous winners of The Dodd Trophy, including Dabo Swinney (2011), Kirk Ferentz (2015), Brian Kelly (2018), Kyle Whittingham (2019) and Mike Norvell (2023).

Additionally, two of the finalists for last year’s award are represented with Mizzou’s Eliah Drinkwitz and eventual winner of the 2023 Dodd Trophy, Florida State head coach Mike Norvell.

The ACC and SEC lead all conferences with six coaches named to the preseason watch list, followed by the Big Ten and Big 12, who each have four coaches represented.

“PNC is proud to join the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc. in presenting this prestigious award,” said Eddie Meyers, PNC regional president for Georgia. “We look forward to following this outstanding group of collegiate coaches throughout the season, as they develop new leaders both on and off the field.”

“Even as our sport constantly evolves, these 21 coaches have continuously exemplified what The Dodd Trophy stands for in their relentless commitment to scholarship, leadership and integrity,” said Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO & President Gary Stokan. “We’re looking forward to kicking off the new era of college football this season with the expanded College Football Playoff, and look forward to seeing how these coaches continue to set the standard on the field, in the classroom and in their communities.”

A midseason watch list – adding to or narrowing the field – will be released in the fall. A panel consisting of previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member will identify the final list of potential recipients at the conclusion of the 2024 season. The winner of the 2024 Dodd Trophy Presented by PNC Bank will be announced in Atlanta during the week of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Starting in September on a weekly basis, the Dodd Coach of the Week Award will also honor coaches whose program embodies the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, while also having success on the playing field during the previous week.