|Posted December 6, 2011|
Wristen named one of five finalists for Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year
Fans can help deliver honor for Wristen by voting every day at www.coachoftheyear.com.
Related: Vote online at www.coachoftheyear.com
PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com – Dec. 6, 2011) – Coaches across the country have spent the entire college football season preparing themselves and readying their teams to take the field each game day. However, for five Division II coaches, their guidance and leadership extends well beyond the playing field, leaving lasting impressions on the players they mentor and the communities they reach. Liberty Mutual Insurance today announced Colorado State University-Pueblo Head Football Coach John Wristen one of five Division II finalists for the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, the leading college football-coaching honor that celebrates coaches for their sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, and for giving back to their teams, schools and communities, on and off field.
Wristen, who guided the ThunderWolves to an RMAC Championship in 2011 and an 11-0 regular season record, is looking to add to his list of coaching honors secured in 2011, including Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors as well as American Football Coaches' Association regional Coach of the Year. If he could emerge as the Liberty Mutual Division II Coach of the Year, he would become the second Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference coach to secure the honor, joining Chadron State head coach, Bill O'Boyle, who won the first ever Division II honor in 2007.
The five finalists were determined as a result of online fan voting at CoachoftheYear.com and through an objective scoring model endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame. Each coach was among the top 15 in fan votes in Division II to qualify for the model, which considers, among other criteria: wins, team penalties, on-field sportsmanship, academic achievement by the student-athletes, and commitment to charitable endeavors. Voting continues through December 22 at CoachoftheYear.com to help determine the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year winners.
"College football fans clearly recognize Coach Wristen as one of the game's true leaders, and we agree he is an excellent finalist for the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award," said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual senior vice president, Consumer Marketing. "Each year, we ask fans to vote for the coaches who best exemplify the award's characteristics – sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, on and off the field. Coach Wristen does just that, through his success on game days, as well as providing leadership to his student-athletes and commitment to the greater Colorado State-Pueblo community."
Joining Coach Wristen among the five Division II finalists for the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award are, in alphabetical order: Tim Beck, Pittsburg State University (Kan.); Bill Maskill, Midwestern State University (Texas); Peter Rossomando, University of New Haven (Conn.); and Scott Underwood, St. Cloud State University (Minn.).
Wristen's road map to the award can be paved by ThunderWolves fans and supporters, as online voting counts toward 20 percent of each finalist's score. Fans can vote once per day every day until Dec. 22 by visiting www.coachoftheyear.com. Selection committees of more than 50 College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches – including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott, Archie Griffin – and the national college football media, such as Kirk Herbstreit, Stewart Mandel and Tim Brando, will also cast votes for the winners to ensure coaches are evaluated fairly and measured against the specific values of responsibility and integrity. Winners are ultimately determined using the following voting weight: fans, 20 percent; College Football Hall of Fame, 55 percent; and college football media, 25 percent.
Liberty Mutual will announce the four winners the morning of the BCS Championship game, January 9, 2012, in New Orleans. If Coach Wristen is named 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year for Division II, he will receive $50,000 to donate to the charity of his choice, the St. Mary-Corwin Breast Center of Excellence Campaign, and a $20,000 grant to the CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association. Since 2006, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award has celebrated the work of 17 winning coaches by donating more than $1.2 million to over 80 charities and college alumni scholarship funds across the country. Former Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Division II winners include: Bob Nielson, University of Minnesota-Duluth (2010); Mel Tjeerdsma, Northwest Missouri State (2009); Chuck Broyles, Pittsburg State University (2008); and Bill O'Boyle, Chadron State College (2007).
For more information about the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year program, visit www.coachoftheyear.com.