WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross head football coach Tom Gilmore has been selected as one of five finalists from the football championship subdivision for the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. Joining Gilmore as finalists are Jerry Moore of Appalachian State, Danny Rocco of Liberty, Bob Spoo of Eastern Illinois and John Stiegelmeier of South Dakota State. Winners will be announced January 6, 2010, in Los Angeles, in advance of the BCS championship game.
Liberty Mutual will award $50,000 to donate to the charity of the winner’s choice, along with a $20,000 grant to the winning school’s alumni association for student scholarships and activities. Between Dec. 15 and Dec. 29, fans can visit www.CoachoftheYear.com to vote among the finalists. Fan votes constitute 20 percent of a coach’s final score.
Earlier this season, Gilmore was named the New England Coach of the Year and the Patriot League Coach of the Year, in addition to being a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award as the National Coach of the Year. He led the Crusaders to their first conference title since 1991, with Holy Cross posting an overall record of 9-3 and a 5-1 mark in the league. Gilmore also led the team into only the third postseason appearance in school history, when it faced Villanova in the the NCAA playoffs. His 2009 squad won nine games for only the ninth time in school history, while posting a 3-1 record against ranked opponents.
Gilmore has led Holy Cross to winning records in five straight seasons, including 7-4 marks in 2006, 2007 and 2008, along with winning streaks of six games (in 2008) and five games (in 2006 and 2009). Two of his players, Dominic Randolph (2007, 2008 and 2009) and Steve Silva (2005), have been named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, with Silva also earning first team All-America honors. Gilmore’s career record now stands at 39-28 over six seasons, including a 36-20 mark since the beginning of the 2005 campaign.
“Many passionate fans came out to vote for Tom Gilmore because he embodies the college football spirit and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year values,” said Greg Gordon, senior vice president of consumer marketing at Liberty Mutual. “Tom Gilmore has made a great impact on the lives of his student athletes and his community and we are proud to recognize him as a Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year finalist.”
To ensure candidates are evaluated fairly and measured against the specific values of responsibility and integrity, selection committees of College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches – including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott and Jerry Rice – and the national college football media will also cast votes for the winners. Hall of Fame and media votes account for 55 percent and 25 percent, respectively.