An assistant on the best team in the country and one from one of the best stories of the 2013 season are up for one of the top coaching awards in the country.
Monday, the fine folks at the Broyles Award announced five finalists for the honor that goes to the top assistant coach in the country, just a handful of days after revealing its initial list of 40 candidates.
Florida State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt headlines the list of finalists. Pruitt, in his first season at FSU after moving over from Alabama, was in charge of a defense that finished the regular season first in the country in scoring defense (11 points per game) and fourth in total defense (271 yards per game). Duke offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper played a significant role in helping the Blue Devils set a school record with 10 wins and earn its first-ever Coastal division title, sending Duke to the ACC title game against FSU.
Two of the other finalists will also be playing in conference championship games this weekend: Michigan State’s Pat Narduzzi, leader of a defense ranked first in total yards allowed and fourth in scoring, and Auburn offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Rhett Lashlee, whose Tigers were fifth in the country in rushing yards per game.
Offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery of the record-setting Baylor Bears is the fifth of the five finalists.
The Broyles Award is named in honor of the legendary former Arkansas head coach Frank Broyles. It was first handed out in 1996, with the 2013 award going to Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco.