University of Delaware Head Coach K.C. Keeler Named a Top 5 Finalist for Prestigious Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award; Voting Now Underway
December 16, 2010
Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
• VOTE HERE!
NEWARK, Del. -- University of Delaware football head coach K.C. Keeler, who has led the Blue Hens to an 11-2 record and a berth in this weekend’s NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision semifinals, was honored this week when he was named one of five finalists for the prestigious 2010 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award.
This premier college football honor celebrates sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility, and excellence among college football coaches and has raised nearly $1 million for charity. For five FCS coaches, their inspirational efforts both on and off the field now sets them apart from the rest.
Keeler, who is also a candidate for the Eddie Robinson Award as the top coach in the FCS division as selected by The Sports Network, is joined by Villanova’s Andy Talley, Danny Rocco of Liberty, Rob Ash of Montana State, and Beau Baldwin of Eastern Washington as the top five finalists.
Fans can vote for Keeler by logging on to www.coachoftheyear.com once a day until Dec. 28.
The finalists were determined as a result of online fan voting and through an objective scoring model endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame. Keeler qualified for the model by finishing among the top 15 in fan votes in the FCS division. The model considers, among other criteria: wins, team penalties, on-field sportsmanship, academic achievement by the student-athletes and civic and philanthropic endeavors.
“Coach Keeler is a great candidate for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award,” said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual senior vice president, Consumer Marketing. “The passionate Delaware fans and alumni have suitably honored his coaching excellence, his dedication to student-athletes, and his commitment to community by casting votes and sharing anecdotes about his contributions, both on and off the field.”
“It is well-deserved for Coach Keeler to be a 2010 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year finalist, and is also an honor for Delaware to be included among this esteemed list of candidates,” said Bernard Muir, UD Director of Athletics and Recreation Services. “Coach Keeler is the epitome of a leader, on and off the field, and Blue Hens fans and alumni everywhere celebrate this achievement.”
Now through December 28 fans can visit www.CoachoftheYear.com to vote among the finalists. To ensure candidates are evaluated fairly and measured against the specific values of responsibility and integrity, selection committees of College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches – including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott, Archie Griffin as well as additional historic football coaches and players – and the national college football media, such as famed sports analysts, Kirk Herbstreit, Stewart Mandel and Tim Brando, will also cast votes for the winners. Fan votes constitute 20 percent of a coach’s final score, with College Football Hall of Fame comprising 55 percent and media, 25 percent.
Liberty Mutual will announce the four winners, one from each division, January 10 in Scottsdale, Ariz., prior to the BCS National Championship Game.
If Keeler wins, he will receive $50,000 to donate to the charities of his choice - he has selected the Boys and Girls Clubs, A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital, and Autism Delaware - and a $20,000 grant to his school's alumni association, providing further positive impact for Delaware and the local community.
Keeler and his wife, Janice, have been active in the community in various charitable endeavors. In addition, Keeler has organized his Blue Hen team members in several community service activities.
Among his charitable works are contributions to the Boys and Girls Club, A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital, Autism Delaware, the Colonial Athletic Association Blood Challenge, the National Marrow Donor Program, the Food Bank of Delaware, Delaware Special Olympics, and the Turkey Roundup.
He and Janice were the 2006 Chairs of the Boys and Girls Club which raised over $750,000 for the organization in the state of Delaware and both served as celebrity chefs for a fundraiser at a local restaurant. He has organized team visits to the A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, has donated blood and done promotional work at the annual CAA Blood Drive to benefit the Blood Bank of Delmarva, and has been tested and helped organize team members for the National Marrow Donor Program.
In addition, he has been involved with the Food Bank of Delaware, the Special Olympics Fall and Summer Games at the University of Delaware, the Turkey Roundup which collects and delivers turkeys for need families, served as a representative for Youth at Risk, a teen suicide hotline, and helped organize tours of the Delaware football facilities for local youth groups.
Under Keeler's direction, UD assistant coaches have been involved with March for Babies by the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society Relay for Life Walk, building a playground at local day care, and volunteering at summer football camps.
Now in its fifth year, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award will surpass $1 million in support to dozens of national and local charities and college scholarship funds on behalf of its 2010 and past winners. Former Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year FCS winners include: Jerry Moore, Appalachian State (2009); Mickey Matthews, James Madison University (2008) and Jerry Kill, Southern Illinois University (2007).
The finalists in the other three divisions are:
NCAA Division I FBS: Nick Saban (Alabama), Jim Tressel (Ohio State), Tom O’Brien (North Carolina State), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), Mike Sherman (Texas A&M), Rick Ellerson (Army), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), Gene Chizik (Auburn), Doug Marrone (Syracuse), and Chip Kelly (Oregon).
NCAA Division II: Tom Sawyer (Winona State), Marty Scshaetzle (Mercyhurst), Bob Nielson (Minnesota-Duluth), Mike Aldrich (Augustana), Mel Tjeerdsma (Northwest Missouri State).
NCAA Division III: Steve Johnson (Bethel), Glenn Caruso (St. Thomas), Matt Land (Trine), John Auer (Crown), Clayton Kendrick-Holmes (SUNY-Maritime).
About Liberty Mutual Group
“Helping people live safer, more secure lives” since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group (Libertymutualgroup.com) is a diversified global insurer and fifth-largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2009 direct written premium. Liberty Mutual Group ranks 71st on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2009 revenue. The company has over 45,000 employees located in more than 900 offices throughout the world. The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 12,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.
About the National Football Foundation & the College Football Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, the NFF Gridiron Clubs of New York City, Dallas, and Los Angeles, and annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings.