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Bill O'Brien Of Penn State Named 2012 Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach Of The Year

HOUSTON, Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Bill O'Brien of Penn State takes the 2012 Coach of the Year title at the Marathon Oil Corporation Paul "Bear" Bryant Awards, which raises funds annually for the American Heart Association. 

(Photo:   http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130118/DC44794)

The Coach of the Year winner is selected each year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and announced live at the awards dinner. The award recognizes excellence in coaching both on and off the field while raising funds to fight heart disease and stroke for the American Heart Association.

"This is a huge honor for the Penn State program and the kids that stuck with us, [along with] the coaches and staff. I've only done this for one year and what this says to me is that we have a fantastic coaching staff," said O'Brien.

Named the Nittany Lions' 15 th head football coach in early 2012, O'Brien quickly and effectively established the foundation for the new era of Penn State Football during his initial eight months on the job.  Penn State capped its remarkable season with a 24-21 overtime victory over eventual Big Ten Champion Wisconsin on an emotional Senior Day, with 31 committed and dedicated seniors introduced before the game.

O'Brien's eight wins were the most by a first-year Penn State coach in the 126 years of the program and led to a plethora of accolades for his leadership, coaching acumen and commitment under unprecedented conditions.

The engaging, detail-oriented and intense O'Brien spent 14 years coaching college football at Brown, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Duke before spending five highly-successful years as part of the NFL New England Patriots' staff.

The finalists competing with O'Brien for the Coach of the Year Award included: James Franklin of Vanderbilt, Urban Meyer of The Ohio State, David Shaw of Stanford, Bill Snyder of Kansas State and Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M.

The 27 th annual event also recognized LaVell Edwards, former Brigham Young University coach and 7 th all time winningest coach in Division I football history.  Recent Lifetime Achievement recipients include Hayden Fry, Tom Osborne, Barry Switzer, Bo Schembechler and Bobby Bowden

Funds raised benefit research, community education and outreach programs of the American Heart Association. For more information, contact 713-610-5000 or visit www.bryantawards.com.

American Heart Association The American Heart Association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases – America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit www.heart.org.

Marathon Oil Corporation Marathon Oil is an independent international energy company. Based in Houston, Texas, Marathon Oil had net proved reserves at the end of 2011 of 1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent in North America, Europe and Africa. For more information, please visit the Company's website at http://www.marathonoil.com.

The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association is the largest national association that focuses on the crafts of both sportscasting and sportswriting. The association, with its headquarters in Salisbury, N.C., honors the National Sportscaster of the Year and the National Sportswriter of the Year.

Media Contact: Shelly MillweeAmerican Heart Association713-610-5041, shelly.millwee@heart.org

SOURCE American Heart Association

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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