UNIVERSITY PARK (AP) - Penn State coach Bill O'Brien has earned his third recognition in as many days as a finalist for a national coaching honor with his selection as one of three candidates for the 2012 Maxwell Football Club's Collegiate Coach of the Year.
Earlier this week, O'Brien was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year. He also is on the Watch List for the Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year.
The first-year Nittany Lion mentor last week was named the Big Ten's Dave McClain Coach of the Year (media) and Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (coaches). He was just the seventh first-year head coach to earn the Big Ten-Dave McClain Coach of the Year in the 41 years it has been awarded.
O'Brien is joined as a finalist for the MFC Collegiate Coach of the Year Award by: Brian Kelly (Notre Dame) and Bill Snyder (Kansas State).
Voting is underway for the finalist selection for the MFC Collegiate Coach of the Year. Eligible voters include, NCAA Bowl Subdivision Head Coaches and Football Sports Information Directors, Maxwell Football Club members and selected national media. The announcement of the winner will be made on December 19 and the award will be formally presented at the 76th Maxwell Awards Gala on March 1, 2012 at the Harrah's Entertainment Resort in Atlantic City.
At the March 1 Awards Gala, the Maxwell Football Club also will present its Thomas Brookshier Spirit Award to the 2012 Penn State football seniors in recognition of their commitment, leadership and outstanding effort during this season.
Named Penn State's 15th head football coach on January 6, 2012, O'Brien led the Nittany Lions to victories in eight of their final 10 games, earning an 8-4 overall record and a 6-2 mark in the Big Ten, with the only losses coming to division winners Ohio State and Nebraska.
O'Brien's eight wins are the most by a first-year Penn State coach in the 126 years of the program.