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Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University fans can help recognize and vote for first-year Bulldog Football Head Coach Tony Annese as part of the 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award process.
To vote via Twitter, fans can visit www.coachoftheyear.com. Fans can also tweet or retweet votes directly from Twitter, but in order to count the vote must include the full coach name, college name @Lmcoachofyear, #COTY2012 and http://coachoftheyear.com.
The award honors the college football coach who best exemplifies responsibility and excellence both on and off the field. A selection committee including members of the College Football Hall of Fame, the national media and fans will help choose the winner.
Annese has guided the Bulldogs to a 6-3 overall mark to date this season in his initial campaign with the Bulldogs heading into Saturday's (Nov. 3) league home contest against Northwood. Ferris State is within a game of the GLIAC North Division lead and FSU ranks among the nation's top 10 teams in rushing offense and total offense.
This season, the Bulldogs have recorded several impressive wins under Annese's direction, including beating rival Grand Valley State for the first time since 1999, snapping a 10-year losing streak to Michigan Tech and topping defending national runner-up Wayne State for the first time in five years. FSU has also faced the nation's toughest schedule in Division II football to date this campaign, according to the Massey Ratings.
Prior to taking over the Bulldog program, Annese spent 25 seasons as a head coach on the prep level in Michigan along with three highly-successful seasons at Grand Rapids Community College. He's recorded more than 230 all-time wins, made 15 prep playoff appearances and won a combined five prep and JUCO national or state titles.
Annese was a three-time junior college region coach of the year and a three-time Michigan High School Football Coach Association Coach of the Year winner. Additionally, he was a finalist for the 2009 National High School Athletic Coaches Association Football Coach of the Year honor and inducted into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2011.
Fan voting will decide the top 15 coaches from each division who will qualify for an objective scoring model endorsed by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. The model will produce ten finalists from Division I-FBS and five finalist coaches from each of the three other divisions, based on the criteria including sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence both on and off the field.
The winners will be selected based on a formula that includes 20% of a fan vote, 55% by a College Hall of Fame selection committee and 25% form national media votes.
Active football coaches in all NCAA divisions with a winning record are eligible to receive the 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. The winner in each division is chosen using a combination of fan votes and votes received from members of the 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Selection Committee.
To be a finalist, a coach must NOT have had: Major program infractions assessed by the NCAA in the current year (2012) at the school he represents, APR penalties assessed to the program by the NCAA in the last two reporting periods, or major integrity violations during 2012 as determined solely by Liberty Mutual Insurance (also applies to members of coach's staff).
The fan voting process, which will determine the 15 coaches in each division who are eligible to become finalists, is open until Dec. 1. An evaluation period will follow with finalist voting taking place Dec. 4-20 and a winner announced in early January, 2013.
As the program sponsor, Liberty Mutual will award funds to support the winning coach's civic and charitable activities along with scholarships to the alumni association of the winning coach's school.
Fans across the country are encouraged to visit www.coachoftheyear.com between now and December 1 to vote for the college football coach who they believe embodies responsibility - not only to his own team and players, but also in society and in his community.
Vote Tony Annese For Liberty Mutual Coach Of The Year!
Visit This Link To Vote!