MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema is one of 15 finalists for the inaugural Joseph V. Paterno Award for Coach of the Year, Maxwell Football Club President, Ron Jaworski, announced on Monday.
Bielema has led the Badgers to an 8-1 record this season, in a virtual tie for first place in the Big Ten standings and a No. 7 ranking in the latest BCS standings. UW defeated No. 1 Ohio State and No. 13 Iowa in back-to-back weeks earlier this season and is one of only two teams in the country to have posted wins over teams currently ranked in the top 15 of the BCS standings.
Off the field, the football team won the CHAMPS Life Cup and Community Service award for the entire athletic department in 2009 (first time ever for both). Last year the Badgers had a school-record 22 players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors as the team posted its highest Fall term GPA on record.
Bielema is also active in the community. The last two years, the football staff has hosted "Football 101 for Women" with the proceeds going to Susan G. Komen Foundation. He is involved with the UW Health Organ Donation Program and the Restoring Hope Transplant House, having taped public service announcements on their behalf. Bielema is also involved with the UW Children's Hospital and has hosted a number of children at Badger football practices and games.
The three finalists for the Joseph V. Paterno Award for Coach of the Year will be announced on Monday, Dec. 6. The formal announcement of the award will be made on Saturday, Dec. 18.
Below is the complete list of semifinalists:
Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
Bret Bielema, University of Wisconsin
Troy Calhoun, United States Air Force Academy
Kirk Ferentz, University of Iowa
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern University
Jim Harbaugh, Stanford University
Ken Niumatalolo, United States Naval Academy
Tom O'Brien, North Carolina State University
Gary Patterson, Texas Christian University
Chris Petersen, Boise State University
Gary Pinkel, University of Missouri
Randy Shannon, University of Miami, Florida
Bob Stoops, University of Oklahoma
Jim Tressel, Ohio State University
KyleWhittingham, University of Utah
Courtesy: UW Athletics