Sumlin received the honor after leading the Aggies to their first 10-win season in more than a decade. It was the second national coach of the year finalist honor for Sumlin, who was also recognized by the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award. In his five seasons as a head coach (2008-11 at University of Houston and 2012 at Texas A&M), Sumlin has been named a national coach of the year finalist in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Joining Sumlin as finalists were: Brian Kelly, Notre Dame; Urban Meyer, Ohio State; Jim Mora, UCLA; Bill O'Brien, Penn State; Mark Richt, Georgia; Nick Saban, Alabama; Dabo Swinney, Clemson; and Charlie Strong, Louisville.
The 10 finalists were determined as a result of fan voting through CoachOfTheYear.com and Twitter from September 12 through December 1, and evaluated through an objective scoring model endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame. To qualify for this model, each coach was among the top 15 in fan votes in the FBS division. Those coaches were then evaluated against a series of on- and off-field criteria; including wins, team penalties, sportsmanship, academic performance by the student-athletes, and charitable commitments in their communities and beyond.
Texas A&M fans can log their Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year vote for Sumlin by visiting coachoftheyear.com on their PC, tablet or mobile device and posting a pre-populated tweet. As part of Liberty Mutual's partnership with the National Football Foundation, a selection committee of more than 50 College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches, including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott, Archie Griffin; as well as national college football media, such as Colin Cowherd, Stewart Mandel and Tim Brando, will evaluate the coaches based on their responsibility, integrity and on-field success to help determine the winner. The Coach of the Year will be ultimately determined using the following voting weight: fans 20 percent, College Football Hall of Fame 55 percent, and media 25 percent.