Josh Heupel Named Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Finalist

Josh Heupel

Josh HeupelTennessee HC Josh Heupel after defeating Florida. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics.

Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel has officially been named a finalist for the 2022 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year award.

Following a magnificent 10-2 season on Rocky Top, along with a Top 6 final ranking, Heupel lands among five other finalists for the award. The list also includes TCU’s Sonny Dykes, Tulane’s Willie Fritz, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Georgia’s Kirby Smart, and UTSA’s Jeff Traylor.

Heupel was named the Associated Press SEC Coach of the Year in early December. The second-year Tennessee head coach was then almost immediately snubbed for one of the eight spots for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award.

According to Tennessee Athletics, “the Bryant Coach of the Year Award is voted on by the National Sports Media Association, current NCAA College football coaches, former Coach of the Year Award winners, the Bryant Awards’ Executive Leadership Team and the Bryant family.”

The winner of the award will be announced from the Post Oak Hotel in Houston on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.

More from RTI: Darnell Wright Accepts Senior Bowl Invite, Is NFL Bound

Josh Heupel led Tennessee to five ranked wins en route to the Vols’ first 10-win season since 2006. Tennessee defeated No. 17 Pittsburgh on the road, No. 20 Florida at home, No. 25 LSU on the road, No. 3 Alabama at home, and No. 19 Kentucky at home.

The Vols will have one more opportunity to pick up a Top 10 win on the season when No. 6 Tennessee takes on No. 7 Clemson in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30.

In addition to winning the AP SEC Coach of the Year award, second-year Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel is now officially a Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award finalist as well.

Check out a full list of Tennessee Football’s 2022 postseason awards, recognitions, and finalists here.

Author: Ethan Moore