Army West Point head football coach Jeff Monken was named one of seven finalists for the 2019 Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year Award, sponsored by Marathon Oil Corporation. Joining him on this impressive list of the nation's best college football coaches are: Bill Clark (University of Alabama-Birmingham), Josh Heupel (University of Central Florida), Brian Kelly (Notre Dame), Nick Saban (University of Alabama), Dabo Swinney (Clemson University), and Jeff Tedford (Fresno State University).
Monken has helped bring the historic Army football program back into the national spotlight over the last five years. After winning six games between his first two seasons, Monken led his Army team to an 8-5 record in 2016, highlighted by his first win over Navy. Monken followed that up with a 10-win season last year, and then matched those numbers again with another 10-win season in 2018. Army has an opportunity to set a new school record for wins in a season with a victory over Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 22.
The winner will be announced live on January 9, 2019 during the awards dinner and ceremony at the Post Oak Hotel in Houston. Now in its 33rd year, the Coach of the Year Award recognizes the country's top college football coach for their contributions both on and off the field. The award is the only college coaching honor selected after all bowl games are concluded and is voted on by the National Sports Media Association.