UCLA Head Football Coach Jim Mora was named one of 10 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) finalists for the 2013 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, an honor recognizing coaches who best exemplify responsibility, integrity, sportsmanship and excellence both on and off the field.
With all but a bowl game remaining in his second season, Mora has led the Bruins to national prominence. With 18 victories in his first two seasons at the helm, the best two-year start (wins) for a UCLA head coach in program history, under his guidance, the Bruins have claimed a Pac-12 South title, been to back-to-back bowl games, posted back-to-back nine-plus win seasons for the first time since 1997-98 and defeated crosstown rival USC in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-98.
Over his first two seasons combined, 42 Bruins have been awarded All-Pac-12 accolades. This season alone, Myles Jack was named Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the Year and is a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, while Anthony Barr won the Lott Impact Trophy and is a finalist for the Lombardi, Butkus and Bednarik awards.
Off the field, Mora, who serves as Chairman of the Sports Advisory Board for X2 BioSystems (whose focus is on concussion study and research) and is president of the Jim Mora Count on Me Family Foundation that assists children in need and at risk within our communities, has been a leader as well. He and the Bruin football team have paid numerous visits to Mattel Children’s Hospital, welcomed pediatric cancer patients affiliated with the Jessie Rees Foundation to practice, enabled 100’s of children to attend UCLA Football games through his foundation and joined in the “Walk to End Epilepsy” among numerous other initiatives. Other recent UCLA Football community service spearheaded by Mora over the past season includes players rehabbing a foster home, participating in playing field sports with children from the East LA Boys and Girls Club, visiting children at Loma Linda Hospital Cancer Center and serving a holiday meal to and socializing with the homeless on Thanksgiving Day in conjunction with the P.A.T.H. Organization.
Now in its eighth year, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award is the only college football-coaching award that promotes both charity and scholarship through its winners. Since 2006, more than $1.8 million has been distributed to over 100 charities and colleges across the country through the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award program. Should Coach Mora win, he will receive $50,000 from Liberty Mutual to donate to his favorite charities and a $20,000 contribution to the UCLA Alumni Association for scholarship. Liberty Mutual Insurance will announce the four Coach of the Year winners prior to the BCS Championship game on January 6, 2014, in Newport Beach, Calif.
Beginning today through December 22, fans can vote daily at CoachoftheYear.com or Facebook.com/LMCoachoftheYear. Jim Mora fans have a voice in the final outcome, with 20 percent of each finalist’s ultimate standing dependent on fan votes. In addition, each vote during this period will serve as an official entry into the “Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Fan Experience Sweepstakes,” awarding one lucky fan tickets and airfare for two to the 2014 regular season college football game of their choice. The sweepstakes winner will be chose by a random drawing on December 23.
The other nine FBS finalists for the 2013 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award are, in alphabetical order: Art Briles, Baylor; David Cutcliffe, Duke; Mark Dantonio, Michigan State; Todd Graham, Arizona State; Guz Malzahn, Auburn; Urban Meyer, Ohio State; Bill O’Brien, Penn State; Nick Saban, Alabama; and Dabo Swinney, Clemson. Past FBS winners have been Brian Kelly, Notre Dame (2012); Les Miles, LSU (2011); Gene Chizik, Auburn (2010); Gary Patterson, TCU (2009); Nick Saban, Alabama (2008); Ron Zook, Illinois (2007); and Greg Schiano, Rutgers (2006).
The winners, to be announced January 6, 2014, will be determined by a weighted voting system. Fan votes in this period will account for 20 percent of each coach’s final score, with votes from two committees of college football media (25 percent) and College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches (55 percent) also being considered.