Dantonio Bear Bryant award finalist

Published 10:54 pm Wednesday, December 15, 2010

MSU's Mark Dantonio is a finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award. (Daily Star Photo/File)

HOUSTON — Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio has been named one of nine finalists for the 2010 Paul “Bear” Bryant Award.

The American Heart Association and Marathon Oil announced the finalists for the award, which honors the late legendary coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide on Wednesday.

Also up for the honor are Chris Ault of Nevada, Bret Bielema of Wisconsin, Gene Chizik of Auburn, Jim Harbaugh of Stanford, Chip Kelly of Oregon, Gary Patterson of Texas Christian, Bobby Petrino of Arkansas and Mike Sherman of Texas A&M.

The winner will be announced live at an awards dinner benefiting the American Heart Association on Jan. 18 at the Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel and Convention Center in downtown Houston. Celebrating 25 years at this year’s event, The Marathon Oil Corporation Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards is the only college football coaching award voted on after all bowl games are played.  January’s event will also recognize Florida State University’s renowned former coach, Bobby Bowden, as the Bryant Lifetime Achievement Recipient.

“Marathon is honored to once again serve as the title sponsor of the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards,” said David E. Roberts, Jr., executive vice president of worldwide upstream operations for Marathon Oil Corporation. “The funds raised during this event are invaluable in supporting the American Heart Association’s mission to fight heart disease and stroke, and we are pleased to be able to assist in this effort.”

The Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards honor excellence in coaching while raising funds to fight heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. Funds raised benefit research, community education and outreach programs for the American Heart Association.