December 10, 2009

DANNY HALE AMONG FIVE DIVISION II FINALISTS FOR THE 2009 LIBERTY MUTUAL COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD

Huskies Fans Encouraged to Vote for Hale at www.CoachoftheYear.com

BLOOMSBURG-Now in its fourth year of heralding college football coaches who demonstrate sportsmanship, integrity and responsibility on and off the field, Liberty Mutual Insurance today named Bloomsburg University Head Football Coach Danny Hale one of five Division II finalists for the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. If he wins, Liberty Mutual will award Hale $50,000 to donate to the charity of his choice and a $20,000 grant to donate to the Bloomsburg University alumni association for student scholarships and activities. Winners will be announced January 6, 2010, in Los Angeles, in advance of the BCS Championship Game.

Past winners, including Alabama's Nick Saban (2008), Northern Illinois' Jerry Kill (2007) and last year's Division II winner Chuck Broyles of Pittsburg State, have used their Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award money to help build homes in local communities, support children in need and even fight terminal diseases. Including the 2009 winners, Liberty Mutual will have donated nearly $1 million to support dozens of national and local charities and college scholarship funds on behalf of its Coach of the Year Award winners.

"Many passionate fans came out to vote for Danny Hale because he embodies the college football spirit and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year values," said Greg Gordon, senior vice president of Consumer Marketing at Liberty Mutual. "Hale has made a great impact on the lives of his student athletes and his community and we are proud to recognize him as a Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year finalist."

At Bloomsburg, Hale has posted a career record of 144-49-1 (.744) and holds the school record for most coaching victories. Overall in 21 years as a head coach he has a mark of 184-62-1 (.746) and is ranked among the top 10 active coaches in NCAA Division II in winning percentage. In his 17 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 2009 the Huskies are also one of the most successful NCAA Division II programs with a combined record of 92-25 (.786). Hale is also involved with numerous local charity events and projects most recently serving as one of the chairpersons for the The Bloomsburg Area YMCA Reach Out campaign.

Joining Hale among the five Division II finalists are, in alphabetical order: Bo Atterberry, Texas A&M University - Kingsville; Bill Maskill, Midwestern State University; Bob Nielson, University of Minnesota - Duluth; Mel Tjeerdsma, Northwestern Missouri State University.

Between December 15 and December 29 fans can visit www.CoachoftheYear.com to vote among the finalists. Fan votes constitute 20 percent of a coach's final score.

To ensure candidates are evaluated fairly and measured against the specific values of responsibility and integrity, selection committees of College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches - including Archie Manning, Lou Holtz, Vince Dooley, Ronnie Lott, and Jerry Rice - and the national college football media will also cast votes for the winners. Hall of Fame and media votes account for 55 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

Launched in 2006, Liberty Mutual created the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award to celebrate responsible coaching because it is one of the clearest examples of a positive influence on young people, their families and entire communities. Past winners include 2006 - Greg Schiano (Rutgers); 2007 - Ron Zook (Illinois), Jerry Kill (Southern Illinois), Bill O'Boyle (Chadron State), John Gagliardi (Saint John's); 2008 - Nick Saban (Alabama), Mickey Matthews (James Madison), Chuck Broyles (Pittsburg State), Larry Kehres (Mount Union).