The University of Central Florida Knights head coach George O’Leary 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 (Fla.)
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

The UCF Knights are currently ranked No. 19 in the AP Top 25 poll as well as No. 23 in the BCS standings.

The Paul Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award will be revealed at the 28th annual event on Jan. 15 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. The Bryant Coach of the Year Award is the only college coaching honor voted on after all of the bowl games are concluded.

The Knights take on the Houston Cougars (7-1, 4-0) at Bright House Networks Stadium Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.