LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – Following a terrific start to the season for the Liberty University Flames football team, Head Coach Jamey Chadwell has been named as a finalist for the 2023 American Heart Association Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year.

The Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year watch list consists of 26 current coaches in consideration for the annual top honor. The award is given each January to a head coach for contributions that make the sport better for athletes and fans alike by demonstrating grit, integrity and a winning approach to coaching and life, both on and off the field.

Chadwell has the Flames rolling through the 2023 season. The team is currently 7-0 on the season and Chadwell is at the helm of one of the more explosive offenses in all of college football. They are prioritizing their strength of running the football, averaging over 274 rushing yards per game which is second best in the entire county. They also have the 15th highest scoring offense in total points scored on the season and are 18th in average points per game. 

Chadwell is one of five coaches from the The Group of Five to be named a finalist and is the only representative from Conference USA. Another Virginia coach, Curt Cignetti from James Madison University was also named as one of the five non-power five coaches listed in contention for the award as well.

Along with the main Coach of the Year Award, the Conference Coach of the Year award for each major NCAA Conference will be presented. Cignetti and Chadwell will both be up for the Group of Five Award.

Now in its 38th year, the Coach of the Year award winner will be announced live from Houston’s Post Oak Hotel on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, during an awards ceremony presented by Marathon Oil.