WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross head football coach Tom Gilmore has been selected as one of five finalists from the football championship subdivision for the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. Joining Gilmore as finalists are Rob Ambrose of Towson, Rob Ash of Montana State, Jerry Moore of Appalachian State and Chris Mussman of North Dakota. Winners will be announced January 9, 2012, in New Orleans, 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. 6 and Dec. 22, fans can visit www.CoachoftheYear.com to vote among the finalists. Fan votes constitute 20 percent of a coach's final score.
During the 2011 season, Gilmore led the Crusaders to an overall record of 6-5, with Holy Cross tying for second place in the Patriot League with a 4-2 mark against conference foes. Gilmore's team finished with a winning record for the seventh year in a row, making Holy Cross one of only 12 teams in the nation to post at least seven straight winning seasons.
A two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (in 2006 and 2009), Gilmore owns an overall record of 51-38 during his time at Holy Cross, including a 48-30 mark since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. In 2009, Gilmore led the Crusaders to an overall record of 9-3, the Patriot League championship and a trip to the NCAA playoffs. A finalist for the 2009 Eddie Robinson Award and the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, Gilmore has led his teams to marks of 7-4 in 2006, 2007 and 2008, along with winning streaks of six games (in 2008) and five games (in 2006 and 2009).
"College football fans clearly recognize coach Gilmore 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 Gilmore does just that, through his success on game days, as well as providing leadership to his student-athletes and commitment to the greater Holy Cross community."
Selection committees of more than 50 College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches – including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott and 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.