Dabo Swinney Wins 2018 Paul 'Bear' Bryant Coach of the Year Award

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2019

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney poses with the championship trophy at a news conference for the NCAA college football playoff championship game Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney capped off a historic season by winning a national championship and being named the 2018 Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year in the span of 48 hours.

Per an official release from Clemson, Swinney became the first coach in history to win the award three times after leading the Tigers to a 15-0 record.

"It's not about the X's and O's, it's about the hearts and souls," Swinney said. "And I've got a great group of young people who lay it on the line."

The National Sports Media Association voted Swinney as the best coach from a group of finalists that also included UAB's Bill Clark, Central Florida's Josh Heupel, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, Army's Jeff Monken, Alabama's Nick Saban and Fresno State's Jeff Tedford.

Swinney, who previously won the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award in 2015 and 2016, led the Tigers to their second national title in three years with a dominant 44-16 win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff Championship Game.

Clemson became the first team in modern college football to go 15-0 in a season and first program to accomplish that feat since Penn in 1897.

This marks the second major Coach of the Year honor for Swinney during the 2018 season. He previously won the Woody Hayes Award last month.

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