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Josh Heupel on the candidate list for the 2024 Dodd Trophy
Josh Heupel on the candidate list for the 2024 Dodd Trophy

ATLANTA – Tennessee’s fourth-year head coach Josh Heupel is one of 21 honorees on the 2024 Dodd Trophy nominee list, the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc. announced Monday.

The Dodd Trophy, the most coveted national coaching award in college football, is administered by Peach Bowl, Inc. and presented by PNC Bank. It recognizes the head coach of a team that achieves success on the football field while emphasizing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity – the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s coaching philosophy.

The watch list was created through a selection process conducted by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc., taking into account each program’s Academic Progress Rate (APR), Graduation Success Rate (GSR), commitment to community service and philanthropy, and projected success for the 2024 season.

Coaches who are in their first year with their current teams were not considered because they are not eligible for the Dodd Trophy until their second year with their program.

In three seasons, Heupel’s remarkable revival of the Volunteers has produced a 27-12 overall record, eight wins over top-25 teams, the program’s first New Year’s Six finish in the College Football Playoff era and two consecutive finishes in the top 20 polls. The eight ranked wins are the sixth-highest nationally among FBS head coaches during that span and the second-highest by a UT coach through the first 39 games of his career.

Heupel’s .692 winning percentage is the second-highest by a Vol coach in the last five decades. His 27 wins are the third-most by a UT coach in his first three seasons, trailing only Bill Battle (31 from 1970-72) and Phillip Fulmer (29 from 1993-95).

Heupel has led Tennessee to its most winning two-year streak (20) since 2003-04, and the 20 wins in that span are tied for the third-most in the SEC.

Heupel and the volunteers will begin preseason training on July 30th, with the first training session scheduled for July 31st.

Watchlist for the 2024 Dodd Trophy
Jeff Brohm – Louisville
Mario Cristobal – Miami
Ryan Day – Ohio State
Dave Doeren – NC State
Eliah Drinkwitz – Missouri
Kirk Ferentz – Iowa
James Franklin – Penn State
Marcus Freeman – Notre Dame
Mike Gundy – Oklahoma State

Josh Heupel – Tennessee
Brian Kelly – LSU
Lane Kiffin – Ole Miss
Chris Klieman – Kansas State
Lance Leipold – Kansas
Mike Norvell – Florida State
Brent Pry – Virginia Tech
Lincoln Riley – USC
Steve Sarkisian – Texas
Kirby Smart – Georgia
Dabo Swinney – Clemson
Kyle Whittingham – Utah

By Liam