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Mark Stoops Named to Dodd Trophy Midseason Watch List

Kentucky head coach one of 16 named to watch list for Coach of the Year

LEXINGTON – October 22, 2021

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops is one of 16 head coaches named to the Dodd Trophy Midseason Watch List, it was announced today by officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc.

The Dodd Trophy, college football’s most coveted coaching award, celebrates the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity – the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s philosophy.

The midseason watch list was created through a selection process by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc., taking into consideration each program’s current performance during the 2021 season, Academic Progress Rate (APR), and each coach’s commitment to service and charity in the community.

Stoops has done a remarkable job in his ninth season at Kentucky, starting the season at 6-0 for the first time since 1950 and leading the Wildcats to top-15 national ranking.

After two games of the 2016 season, his record was 12-26 but he has gone 43-25 (.632) since. Overall, Stoops is now 55-51 at Kentucky and is nearing Paul “Bear” Bryant’s school-record 60 victories.

Stoops currently holds school records for most home wins (40), total SEC wins (28) and total games coached at UK (106).

Off the field, Stoops is a staunch supporter of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, helping raise more than $500,000 annually for the kids.

Kentucky’s football team has fared well academically under Stoops, as each year UK’s football score in the NCAA Academic Progress Rate has been well above the benchmark of 930.

The 2021 Dodd Trophy Midseason Watch List presented by PNC:

Coach:School:Current AP Ranking:Current RecordAPR Score:
Jamey ChadwellCoastal Carolina (Sun Belt)No. 146-1956
Dave ClawsonWake Forest (ACC)No. 166-0990
Mario CristobalOregon (Pac-12)No. 105-1968
Ryan DayOhio State (Big Ten)No. 55-1985
Dave DoerenNC State (ACC)No. 185-1962
Kirk FerentzIowa (Big Ten)No. 116-1971
Luke FickellCincinnati (American)No. 26-0990
Jimbo FisherTexas A&M (SEC)No. 175-2965
James FranklinPenn State (Big Ten)No. 75-1982
Jim HarbaughMichigan (Big Ten)No. 66-0980
Brian KellyNotre Dame (Independent)No. 135-1970
Lincoln RileyOklahoma (Big 12)No. 37-0965
Nick SabanAlabama (SEC)No. 46-1990
Kirby SmartGeorgia (SEC)No. 17-0969
Mark StoopsKentucky (SEC)No. 156-1971
Mel TuckerMichigan State (Big Ten)No. 97-0952

“The Dodd Trophy is truly different from other coach of the year awards, and this list really highlights the level of excellence that it takes to be considered for it,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO & president. “We are excited to see what the rest of the season brings and which of these elite coaches will emerge during the final stretch of the season.”

A panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member will identify a list of finalists at the conclusion of the 2021 season. The winner of the 2021 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during bowl week at this year’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.


About the Dodd Trophy presented by PNC
The Dodd Trophy presented by PNC was established in 1976 to honor the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1A) head football coach whose program represents the highest ideals on and off the field. The award honors the coach of a team which enjoys a successful football season, while also stressing the importance of academic excellence and character, as did Coach Dodd’s teams during his 22 years as head football coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Coach Dodd remains one of college football’s legendary figures, both as a coach and a player. Coach Dodd was a native of Galax, Virginia, and played his college ball at the University of Tennessee where his team had 27 wins, one loss and two ties during the three years he played. Coach Dodd was selected to the National College Football Hall of Fame both as a coach and as a player. Additional information about the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation can be found at For news, updates and insider information, follow us on Twitter at @DoddTrophy or find us on Facebook at

About Peach Bowl, Inc.

Peach Bowl, Inc. operates the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, one of the New Year’s Six Bowls selected to host the College Football Playoff. The Bowl has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the country, with 53 percent of its games being decided by a touchdown or less. Peach Bowl, Inc. has disbursed $292.5 million in total team payouts over its 53-year history and have drawn an all-time ESPN viewership of 280.4 million for both the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games. Peach Bowl, Inc. also leads all other bowl game organizations in charitable and scholarship contributions, having donated or committed $57.9 million to organizations in need since 2002. Peach Bowl, Inc. created and manages the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament, manages The Dodd Trophy national coach of the year award and led the relocation and financial foundation of the College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @CFAPeachBowl and find us on Facebook at

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