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HOUSTON The Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards committee of the American Heart Association selected its Bryant Watch List for the 2007 College Football Coach of the Year. The selection committee consists of current and past event chairmen, Bryant family representatives, National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association representatives and former collegiate players and coaches.

The Bryant Watch List will be narrowed down to five to 10 finalists and announced live by Alabama football legend and former NFL player Kenny Stabler during a press conference in Houston on Dec. 12. The finalists will attend an awards dinner on Jan. 17, 2008, where the winner will be announced live. The winner of the Bryant College Coach of the Year is voted on by members of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and is the only college coaching award given after all the bowl games have finished.

Bryant Watch List in alphabetical order:
Michael Bellotti University of Oregon
Rick Brooks University of Kentucky
Lloyd Carr University of Michigan
Randy Edsall University of Connecticut
Dennis Erickson Arizona State University
Jeff Jagodzinski Boston College
June Jones University of Hawaii
Mark Mangino University of Kansas
Les Miles Louisiana State University
Chris Petersen Boise State University
Gary Pinkel University of Missouri
Mark Richt University of Georgia
Rich Rodriguez University of West Virginia
Nick Saban University of Alabama
Bob Stoops University of Oklahoma
Jim Tressel The Ohio State University

Also during the January event, legendary Nebraska head coach and current Athletic Director, Tom Osborne will receive the Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes excellence in coaching on and off the field during a career, allowing recipients to take their place in history alongside legends such as Bryant. Recent Lifetime Achievement recipients include Glenn “Bo” Schembechler, Jack Pardee and Lou Holtz.

The Bryant Awards honor excellence in coaching while raising funds to fight heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. Bryant himself suffered a heart attack prior to his death in 1983. Funds raised benefit research, community education and outreach programs of the AHA. For more information, or to purchase tickets or a table for the event, contact Lisa C. Burns at (713) 610-5026 or visit www.americanheart.org/bryantawards