December 9, 2008

Hale Named Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Finalist

BLOOMSBURG--Liberty Mutual Insurance and Archie Manning, chair of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, have named Bloomsburg University Head Football Coach Danny Hale, a finalist for the 2008 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. Hale is among the five finalists from the NCAA Division II who best exemplifies excellence in coaching - on and off the field - as determined by a combination of hundreds of thousands of fan votes at www.CoachoftheYear.com and an objective scoring model endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame.

If Hale wins, he will be recognized in the permanent College Football Hall of Fame display in South Bend, Ind., and will receive $50,000 from Liberty Mutual to support his favorite civic and charitable activities and a $20,000 scholarship donation for Bloomsburg University alumni association. This is the third year Liberty Mutual has recognized outstanding coaches and after this season, the total Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year charitable and scholarship contributions will reach $680,000.

"Hundreds of thousands of fans embraced what is unique about this award by voting to name Hale among the Coach of the Year finalists," said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual senior vice president of Consumer Marketing. "Revered by fans for exhibiting characteristics of sportsmanship, integrity and responsibility, Hale represents what is great about college football because he understands that how you win is every bit as important as winning itself."

At Bloomsburg, Hale has posted a record of 136-46-1 (.745) and holds the school record for most coaching victories. Overall in 21 years as a head coach he has a mark of 176-59-1 (.747) and is ranked among the top 10 active coaches in NCAA Division II in winning percentage. In his 16 seasons as head coach at Bloomsburg he has led the Huskies to 10 outright or shared Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division titles and six NCAA post-season playoff berths. In the period from 2000 to 2008 the Huskies are also one of the most successful NCAA Division II programs with a combined record of 83-22 (.790). This is the second time in three years Hale has been a finalist for the award. In 2006 he was featured on an ABC-TV special hosted by Keith Jackson for being a finalist.

Joining Hale among the five finalists for Division II are: Chuck Broyles, Pittsburg State University; David Dean, Valdosta State University; Chuck Martin, Grand Valley State University; and Bill O'Boyle, Chadron State College.

"Wow! This is an impressive group of coaches and I'm truly honored to be part of them," said Hale. "I'm really grateful to the people who continue to vote for me and that's the reason for the wow."

Between Dec.12 and Dec. 22 college football fans are once again invited back to www.CoachoftheYear.com to cast their vote to determine the winner. On the site, fans have the opportunity to review bios and fan testimonials supporting each finalist before they make their selection and enjoy episodes of "Coach's Corner" which offer Archie Manning and Kirk Herbstreit's perspectives on the latest topics in college football.

To ensure candidates are evaluated fairly and measured against the specific values of responsibility and integrity, a Selection Committee composed of College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches and the national media will also cast votes for the winners. Fan votes account for 20 percent of each coach's final score while the College Football Hall of Famers and national college football media account for 55 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

The 2008 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award winners will be announced on ESPN during halftime of the Music City Bowl on Dec. 31.

About Liberty Mutual Group Helping people live safer, more secure lives'' since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group (LibertyMutualGroup.com) is a diversified global insurer and sixth-largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2007 direct written premium. Liberty Mutual Group ranks 94th on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2007 revenue. The company has over 45,000 employees located in more than 900 offices throughout the world.

The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (LibertyMutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 10,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.


About the National Football Foundation & the College Football Hall of Fame

Founded in 1947 with leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, Play It Smart, the NFF-FWAA Football Forum, the NFF Gridiron Club of New York City, and scholarships of over $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Trophy, the Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org or www.collegefootball.org.