HOUSTON - University of Houston coach Tom Herman is one of seven finalists for the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award handed out annually in Houston by the American Heart Association.
Herman led the Cougars to a 12-1 record, and their first appearance in a major bowl game in 31 years.
UH will play Florida State in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve, part of the New Year's Six bowl game package.
Joining Herman as finalists are Clemson's Dabo Swinney, Nick Saban from Alabama, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, Navy's Ken Niumatalolo, David Shaw from Stanford and Larry Fedora from North Carolina.
Herman and UH won the American Athletic Conference championship, and he was named AAC Co-Coach of the Year with Navy's Niumatalolo.
Herman is just the fifth coach in NCAA history to open his first season as head coach with 10 consecutive wins.
The American Heart Association has received more than $6 million during its relationship with the event.
Marathon Oil is the title sponsor for the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award, which will be handed out Jan. 13, 2016.