Franklin & Marshall Head Football Coach John Troxell has been named one of five NCAA Division III finalists for the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. The award recognizes football coaches who demonstrate sportsmanship, integrity and responsibility on and off the field.
If he wins, Troxell will receive $50,000 from Liberty Mutual Insurance to donate to the charity of his choice—Lauren's First and Goal Foundation—and a $20,000 grant to donate to the Franklin & Marshall Alumni Association for student scholarships and activities. Winners will be announced Jan. 6 in Los Angeles in advance of the Division I Bowl championship game.
Fan voting constitutes 20 percent of a coach's final score. Between Dec. 15 and Dec. 29, fans can visit www.CoachoftheYear.com to vote among the finalists. Joining Troxell on the Division III ballot are Steve Briggs, Susquehanna University; Greg Debeljak, Case Western Reserve University; John Gagliardi, Saint John's University; and Steve Staker, Coe College.
Selection committees of College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches—including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott, and Jerry Rice—and the national college football media will also cast votes for the winners. Hall of Fame and media votes account for 55 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
"Many passionate fans came out to vote for Troxell because he embodies the college football spirit and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year values," says Greg Gordon, senior vice president of consumer marketing at Liberty Mutual. "Troxell has made a great impact on the lives of his student athletes and his community, and we are proud to recognize him as a Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year finalist."
In his fourth season at Franklin & Marshall, Troxell guided the Diplomats' 67-man roster to a 9-2 record and a victory over Wilkes University in the ECAC South Atlantic Bowl. He was named the Centennial Conference Coach of the Year by his peers and selected as offensive coordinator for the South Team in the D3 Senior All-Star Classic. Three of Troxell's players were selected to compete in postseason all-star games.
Troxell serves on the board of Lauren's First and Goal Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides financial support for brain tumor research and offers financial aid and emotional support to families living with pediatric cancer. His players are engaged in the Lancaster community through programs such as Teamwork, cleaning up Lancaster's James Street Improvement District, and Fulton Fridays, where players read to students at Lancaster's Fulton Elementary.
Past winners have used their Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award money to help build homes in local communities, support children in need and fight terminal diseases. Including the 2009 winners, Liberty Mutual will have donated nearly $1 million to support dozens of national and local charities and college scholarship funds on behalf of its Coach of the Year Award winners.