Boise State's Chris Petersen Winner of Paul "Bear" Bryant Award

D. WalkerAnalyst IJanuary 15, 2010

The Paul 'Bear' Bryant Award is an award that has been given annually since 1986 to NCAA football's best head coach. 

The award is voted on by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association

The College Football Coach of the Year Award began in 1957 and was renamed for Bryant in 1986. Bryant himself won the earlier award in 1961, 1971, and 1973.

This marked the second time in the last four years that Petersen has won the award as the nation's best college football coach.

Boise State defeated TCU 17-10 in the Fiesta Bowl to finished undefeated with a record of 14-0.

He won the award also in 2006, after leading BSU to an undefeated season and a victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

Petersen is 49-4 in four years as the head coach at Boise State and is the winningest coach in college football over that four year period.

Petersen is frequently been mentioned as a possible candidate for many of the heading coaching jobs at some of the major BCS programs around the country.

Most recently, Petersen was rumored to have been a candidate for the openings at USC and Tennessee.

While interest in Petersen has been high as a possible hire by major programs, he has remained happy with his position as BSU's head coach.

In December, Petersen agreed to a new contract that will pay him approximately $1.6 million per year plus incentive bonuses for the next five years.

Last year's winner of the Paul "Bear" Bryant award was Utah's Kyle Whittingham.

The Award was named in honor of longtime Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant after he died of a heart attack in 1983. All proceeds from the awards ceremony benefit the American Heart Association.