The Maxwell Football Club announced today three finalists for the 2015 George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year Award. Named as finalists are Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa), and Dabo Swinney (Clemson).
Dantonio has led No. 3-ranked Spartans to a 12-1 record and a Big Ten championship. Seven of Michigan State's games came down to the final possession including Saturday night's 16-13 win over No. 5-ranked and Rose Bowl bound Iowa (12-1) in the Big Ten title game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Michigan State will open the College Football Playoff in theDec. 31 Cotton Bowl against No. 2 Alabama (12-1), a winner over Florida in the SEC championship game Saturday.
Ferentz guided the Hawkeyes to a 12-1 record overall and 8-0 mark in conference play,setting a program record for wins. Iowa won the Big Ten West Division to earn a Big Ten Championship Game berth. The Hawkeyes fell to Michigan State 16-13 in that game which was played on Saturday night. In his 17th season at Iowa, Ferentz is tied for seventh in Big Ten victories (76) and ranks eighth in total wins (127). Ferentz has led Iowa to a school-record 12 victories this season, the fifth time the Hawkeyes have recorded 10 or more wins under his leadership. He was named as the Big Ten Coach of the Year last week.
Swinney, whose Atlantic Division winners defeated Coastal Division champion NorthCarolina in Saturday night's Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, has led the Tigers to a 13-0 record that is a school record for wins in a single season. Clemson owns the nation's longest active winning streak at 16 games, dating back to the final three games of 2014. The 16 consecutive wins also breaks a school record, first set by the Tiger teams of 1947-49. Clemson's memorable 2015 season has included wins over No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 16 Florida State. The Tigers rank first in the ACC in total offense (502.5 yards per game) and second in total defense (288.5 yards per game allowed). Swinney was selected as the ACC Coach of the Year this season.