NEW YORK, N.Y. - After guiding the University of Richmond Spiders football team to a share of the CAA Championship and a five-win turnaround, head coach Danny Rocco was named one of five finalists for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. A four-time Liberty Coach of the Year Award finalist, Rocco was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award for the fourth time last month.
Following a highly successful tenure at Liberty, where he was a three-time Big South Coach of the Year winner, Rocco took over a Richmond squad this season that went 3-8 and 0-8 in conference play in 2011.
In 2012, Rocco led the Spiders to a share of the CAA Football championship, posting an overall record of 8-3 and a conference mark of 6-2. The five-win turnaround is the second-best in the history of Richmond football, while the six-conference win improvement was the best in the CAA.
The Spiders had numerous quality wins this past season, defeating Villanova in Philadelphia, while also taking down then No. 2-ranked James Madison. Richmond also defeated perennial CAA power Delaware at Robins Stadium.
The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award recognizes college football coaches who demonstrate Sportsmanship, Integrity, Responsibility and Excellence both on and off the field. Endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame, the program awards one winning coach from each NCAA division (I-FBS, I-FCS, II, and III) with $50,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, a $20,000 grant to each school's alumni association, and the Coach of the Year trophy.
The five FCS finalists were determined as a result of fan voting through CoachOfTheYear.com and Twitter from September 12 through December 1, and evaluated through an objective scoring model endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame. To qualify for this model, each coach was among the top 15 in fan votes in the FCS division. Those coaches were then evaluated against a series of on- and off-field criteria; including wins, team penalties, sportsmanship, academic performance by the student-athletes, and charitable commitments in their communities and beyond.
Beginning today through December 20, Richmond fans can log their Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year vote for Coach Rocco by visiting coachoftheyear.com on their PC, tablet or mobile device and posting a pre-populated tweet. As part of Liberty Mutual's partnership with the National Football Foundation, a selection committee of more than 50 College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches, including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott, Archie Griffin; as well as national college football media, such as Colin Cowherd, Stewart Mandel and Tim Brando, will evaluate the coaches based on their responsibility, integrity and on-field success to help determine the four coaching winners from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), FCS, Division II and Division III. Winners are ultimately determined using the following voting weight: Fans 20 percent, College Football Hall of Fame 55 percent, and Media 25 percent.
Liberty Mutual will announce the four winners the morning of the BCS Championship game, January 7, 2013, in South Florida. The FCS coaching winner will receive a $50,000 donation from Liberty Mutual to the charity or charities of his choice, as well as a $20,000 scholarship grant in their name to their school's alumni association. Since 2006, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award has celebrated the work of its 21 winners by donating more than $1.5 million to over 90 charities and college alumni scholarship funds.
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
"Helping people live safer, more secure lives" since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2011 direct premiums written as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Liberty Mutual Insurance also ranks 84th on the Fortune 100 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2011 revenue. The company employs over 50,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
The sixth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 14,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.
About the National Football Foundation &
College Football Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.