The most elusive award for a Buckeye: Big Ten Coach of the Year

Bucki1978's picture
December 4, 2013 at 1:31a
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Earl Bruce was the last Buckeyes head coach to win the award of Big Ten Coach of the Year.  He did so in 1979 which was his first season at the helm of the Ohio State football program.  In 1979, Lee Corso was the head coach at Indiana, Gary Moeller was the head coach at Illinois, Hayden Fry was in his 1st year at Iowa and Lou Holtz was still 5 years away from becoming the head coach at Minnesota.  Since then, 34 seasons have passed and no other Ohio State head coach has won the award but every other Big Ten school (except Nebraska which joined the conference in 2011) has had at least 1 coach win the COY award.  Michigan, Iowa and Illinois are tied with 5 COY awards since 1979.  Twice the winner of the Big Ten COY has had a losing conference record in the season they won the award (Northwestern's Dennis Green was 2-7 in 1982 and Indiana's Bill Mallory was 3-5 in 1986).  5 times a Big Ten team has gone undefeated in conference play and the coach did not win the COY award.  4 of those times were undefeated seasons by the Buckeyes.  Below is listed the Big Ten schools by conference winning % from 1980-2013.  Next to that is the number if conference championships and then COY awards:

 

Ohio State - .752 - 13 - 0

Michigan - .732 - 13 - 5

Nebraska - .680 - 0 - 0

Penn State - .631 - 3 - 4

Iowa - .578 - 5 - 5

Michigan State - .533 - 3 - 3

Wisconsin - .507 - 6 - 3

Illinois - .437 - 3 - 5

Purdue - .420 - 1 - 1

Minnesota - .341 - 0 - 1

Northwestern - .327 - 3 - 4

Indiana - .310 - 0 - 2

 

The list of winners of Big Ten COY since 1979 includes coaching legends Brady Hoke and John L Smith.  With those names on the list, I would rather just have the wins.

 

Go Bucks!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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