Allen one of eight finalists for “Bear” Bryant Award

A busy awards season continued for Indiana football on Tuesday.

Tom Allen, who was named the Big Ten coach of the year by the Associated Press, was also named a finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award and the Bobby Dodd Trophy, two national coach of the year honors. That comes a day after he was named a finalist for the Football Writers Association of America’s national honor, the Eddie Robinson Award.

Kane Wommack, IU’s defensive coordinator, was also named a finalist for the Broyles Award, which goes to the top assistant in college football. Wommack, who has been pegged as the next head coach at South Alabama, is one of five finalists for that honor.

On top of that, seven IU players were named to the AP’s All-Big Ten team, including four first-team selections. Ty Fryfogle, who was previously named the Big Ten’s receiver of the year, was IU’s lone representative on the first-team offense. On the defense, though, IU had three first-team honorees, including linebacker Micah McFadden, defensive tackle Jerome Johnson, and safety Jamar Johnson.

On the AP second team, IU placed quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and running back Stevie Scott offensively. Cornerback Tiawan Mullen was on the second-team defense.

These awards just continue to acknowledge No. 7 IU’s accomplishments in a 6-1 season, especially on the defensive side of the football. A program-record seven IU defensive players earned All-Big Ten recognition last week, including a program-record four first-teamers.

Wommack is now the first IU assistant ever to be named a finalist for the Broyles Award. Kalen DeBoer, who went on to become the head coach at Fresno State following one year as IU’s offensive coordinator, was just a semifinalist for the Broyles honor in 2019.

The other finalists for the award are defensive coordinators Marcus Freeman (Cincinnati) and Mike Hankwitz (Northwestern) and offensive coordinators Steve Sarkisian (Alabama) and Jeff Grimes (BYU).

Allen also has stiff competition for the two national coach of the year honors. For the Bryant Award, he will have to beat out Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell, Oregon’s Mario Cristobal, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Alabama’s Nick Saban, and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. The Dodd Trophy Finalists include Campbell, Kelly, Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, and Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell.

San Jose State’s Brent Brennan, Campbell, Chadwell, Fickell, Saban, and Swinney are up for the Football Writers Association of America’s Robinson Award, as well as Colorado’s Karl Dorrell and BYU’s Kalani Sitake.