In his fourth season as the head coach at Florida State, Norvell led the Seminoles to a 13-1 overall record and an 8-0 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Norvell was previously honored as the ACC Coach of the Year and was the 2023 Dodd Trophy recipient. The Seminoles finished the 2023 season at No. 6 in both the USA Today and Associated Press Top 25 polls, sharing the No. 6 spot with Oregon in the AP poll.
“I want to start off and say how appreciative I am for this opportunity,” said Norvell. “Coach Bryant set a standard of excellence and our team pursued that every day – not only on the field but off the field, winning 13 games and having the best semester team GPA in program history. They were champions on the field and were absolutely champions off it, and I’m grateful for them.”
“I would like to thank Florida State University, the wonderful administration we have, and everyone who has invested into our program. I’d also like to thank the American Heart Association for the impact you make. Keep changing lives, keep making a difference. What a special night.”
Held in Houston, the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award annually recognizes the country’s top college football coach for their contributions both on and off the field, as well as efforts to make the sport better for athletes and fans alike by demonstrating grit, integrity and a winning approach to coaching and life. The Coach of the Year award is voted on by the National Sports Media Association, current NCAA College football coaches, former Coach of the Year Award winners, the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards’ Executive Leadership Team and the Bryant family.
In 1983, football coaching legend, Paul “Bear” Bryant, died from a heart attack. Moved to amplify and drive education surrounding heart disease after his passing, the Bryant family teamed up with the American Heart Association in 1986, building on the Association’s Coach of the Year Award to create the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards program. Each year since then, the awards have celebrated “Bear’s” legacy by recognizing coaching excellence while raising critical funds for research to eradicate cardiovascular disease.
“Just as coach Bryant inspired countless lives and careers, the work of the American Heart Association inspires many,” said Doug Lawson, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of St. Luke’s Health; Senior Vice President of Operations, Texas Division at Common Spirit Health, and 2024 Bryant Awards Chair. “Coaches, congratulations on a great season. We appreciate your being a part of this event and the impact you make on and off the field.”
As previously announced, Northwestern University’s David Braun was recognized as the inaugural Paul “Bear” Bryant Newcomer Coach of the Year, legendary former University of Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr received the 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Texas-based Memorial Hermann Health System, while Archie and Olivia Manning were recognized as recipients of the 2024 Heart of a Champion award, presented by St. Luke’s Health in Houston.
In addition to the Coach of the Year, the winner of this year’s Fan Vote Favorite, presented by Accenture, Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Memorial Hermann, Heart of a Champion presented by St. Luke’s Health, and Newcomer Coach of the Year were all awarded.
Fans were able to participate in the awards with the fourth annual Coach of the Year Fan Vote, sponsored by Accenture. Starting in August 2023, fans cast votes for their favorite coach online at bryantawards.org/fan-vote/. In a hard-fought battle, Mike Norvell of Florida State University won the Fan Vote.
Marathon Oil Corporation, an independent exploration and production company based in Houston, has served as the presenting sponsor of the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards for more than a decade, underscoring the company’s commitment to health and wellness and supporting initiatives that promote the well-being of workers and their families in the communities where they operate.
“Marathon Oil is proud to be the presenting sponsor of tonight’s ceremony,” said Lee Tillman, Marathon Oil Chairman, President, and CEO. “As we honor Coach Bryant’s legacy, we’re not only recognizing distinction and merit but are also raising lifesaving funds for the American Heart Association, which serves as a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.”
For a recap of the event and behind the scenes details visit facebook.com/bryantawards or twitter.com/bryantawards. To learn more about the awards history and for 2025 event information visit bryantawards.org. Fans can watch a re-airing of the Bryant Awards ceremony in its entirety on CBS College Sports at 9 pm ET / 8 pm CT / 6pm PT on Jan. 14.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 – our Centennial year – we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
Paul Smith, American Heart Association, 940-367-7762, email@example.com