Three Finalists Selected for Steve Spurrier First-Year Coach Award

GAINESVILLE, FLA. (FWAA) – UNLV's Barry Odom, Liberty's Jamey Chadwell and Louisville's Jeff Brohm have been named finalists for the 2023 Steve Spurrier First-Year Coach of the Year Award.

The award, presented by Chris Doering Mortgage, is given annually to a head coach who demonstrates an exemplary transition during the first year leading a
program. In 2021, the trophy was named after Steve Spurrier.

Spurrier, a former Heisman Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Famer known affectionately as “The Head Ball Coach,” made immediate improvement at his coaching stops.

Spurrier’s Southeastern Conference legend grew after he took his alma mater to a 9-2 record and an unofficial SEC Championship in his first season at the helm of the Florida Gators in 1990. Fifteen years later, during his first season leading South Carolina, his Gamecocks earned a 7-5 record along with the program’s first win over Tennessee in Knoxville and their first win over Florida since 1939.

“I admire coaches who can eliminate all excuses and make an immediate impact,” Coach Spurrier said. “Coach Odom, Coach Chadwell and Coach Brohm have done a wonderful job this season and set themselves up for great success leading their teams in the future.”

The winner of the Spurrier First-Year Coach of the Year Award will be announced on Jan. 11 or 12 after the completion of all the bowl games. The winner will be honored at a banquet hosted by Coach Spurrier and Gator great and SEC Network Analyst Chris Doering at Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille on Monday, Feb. 26 in Gainesville.

A Spurrier Legend Coach will also be honored at the event. The winner of that award is expected to be announced in the near future.

About the finalists:

Odom was named the 2023 Mountain West Coach of the Year after leading the UNLV Rebels to their first nine-victory season since 1984 and their first MWC Championship Game appearance. Coach Odom is the first UNLV coach to also be named a finalist for the prestigious FWAA Coach of the Year Award (2023). 

Chadwell, the 2023 Conference USA Coach of the Year, coached Liberty to the league title and a school record 13-0 mark while his team led the nation with 302.9 rushing yards per game. Chadwell took over a program that had gone 8-5 the previous two seasons and delivered an 8-0 conference mark, which helped make him one of 12 finalists for FWAA Coach of the Year. 

Brohm led Louisville to a 10-3 record this season and its first ACC Championship game appearance, improving on last season’s 8-5 mark. Brohm ranks as the only Power 5 coach to end the 2023 season as a finalist for the Steve Spurrier First-Year Coach Award.

All three coaches are headed to bowl games with their teams.

--Odom's UNLV team (9-4) faces Kansas (8-4) in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl on Dec. 26 in Phoenix.

--Chadwell's Liberty team (13-0) meets Oregon (11-2) in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1 in Glendale, Ariz.

--Brohm's Louisville team (10-3) faces USC (7-5) in the DirecTV Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 in San Diego.

For more information on attending or sponsoring the reception at Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille for both the Steve Spurrier First-Year Coach and the Steve 
Spurrier Legend Coach awards on Monday, Feb. 26 2024, please contact Tricia Garzon of the JAG Agency at 352-214-2331.

Chris Doering Mortgage, based in Gainesville, FL, was established in April 2007 as a residential lending company providing mortgage products including conventional, FHA, USDA, and VA loans. The branch is a division of – 3940 NW 16th Blvd., Suite A, Gainesville, FL 32605 – NMLS 70168/1937321. FHA Lender ID 2631500094. For more information, visit College football analyst Chris Doering, a former wide receiver for Coach Spurrier both in college and the NFL, serves as the branch manager.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers, and key executives in
all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an
annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at
(214) 870-6516 or

All-Time FWAA/Steve Spurrier First-Year Coach of the Year Award winners
2022: Sonny Dykes, TCU
2021: Shane Beamer South Carolina; Josh Heupel, Tennessee
2020: Karl Dorrell, Colorado
2019: Ryan Day, Ohio State
2018: Josh Heupel, UCF
2017: Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma
2016: Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech; Clay Helton, USC
2015: Tom Herman, Houston
2014: Bryan Harsin, Boise State
2013: Gus Malzahn, Auburn
2012: Urban Meyer, Ohio State
2011: Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
2010: Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
2009: Chip Kelly, Oregon
2008: Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
2007: Jeff Jagodziński, Boston College
2006: Chris Petersen, Boise State
2005: Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
2004: Mike Price, UTEP
2003: Steve Kragthorpe, Tulsa
2002: Tyrone Willingham, Notre Dame