One of the Best



Nov. 1, 2013

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - It has already been a monumental season for the UCF football team, and head coach George O'Leary's hard work has not gone unnoticed as he was named to The Paul Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award Watch List Friday evening. The watch list was announced by the American Heart Association and The Paul Bear Bryant Awards' title sponsor Marathon Oil Corporation.

Coach O'Leary was one of 20 members on the watch list:
• David Bailiff - Rice
• Art Briles - Baylor
• Rod Carey - Northern Illinois
• Tim DeRuyter - Fresno State
• Jimbo Fisher - Florida State
• Al Golden - Miami (FL)
• Mark Helfrich - Oregon
• Brady Hoke - Michigan
• Kliff Kingsbury - Texas Tech
• Pete Lembo - Ball State
• Tony Levine - Houston
• Gus Malzahn - Auburn
• Urban Meyer - Ohio State
• Les Miles - LSU
George O'Leary - UCF
• Gary Pinkel - Missouri
• Nick Saban - Alabama
• David Shaw - Stanford
• Bob Stoops - Oklahoma
• Kevin Sumlin - Texas A&M

Guiding the Knights to their highest ranking in program history, Coach O'Leary and UCF sit at No. 19 in the Associated Press Top 25 as well as No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Black and Gold also is No. 23 in the latest BCS standings.

UCF carries a 6-1 overall record with a 3-0 mark in the American Athletic Conference, highlighted by road victories over then No. 8/6 Louisville and Penn State. The win against the Cardinals was the Knights' second triumph over a ranked team in program history, and their first over a top-10 team. Meanwhile, defeating the Nittany Lions marked UCF's first win against a Big Ten school.

The 6-1 start is tied for the best since the football program's inception in 1979, and UCF will be looking to extend its run in a big conference showdown with Houston (7-1, 4-0) at Bright House Networks Stadium Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.

This year's team has already become eligible for the fourth time in the last five campaigns, and for the sixth time since UCF's first bowl in 2005.

In his 10th season with the Knights, Coach O'Leary has received numerous accolades in his career. He was the Conference USA Coach of the Year in 2005, 2007 and 2010, and he picked up and National Coach of the Year honors in 2005, his second year at UCF. While with Georgia Tech, O'Leary earned the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year award in 1998 and 2000, while being selected as the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year in 2000.

The Paul Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award will be revealed at the 28th annual event on Jan. 15, 2014 in Houston. In early December, a finalists' list comprised of five to 10 coaches will be announced. Finalists will attend an awards dinner in January at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the Galleria in Houston, where the winner will be announced live. The Bryant Coach of the Year Award is the only college coaching honor voted on after all of the bowl games are concluded.

Plan your game days this fall with the Knights and experience one of the best schedules in program history. Order tickets today online or call 407-UCF-1000.



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