AUBURN, Ala. — Winning awards has become routine for Gus Malzahn.
On Friday, Malzahn won the Bobby Bowden Coach of the Year Award, which is presented by the Over the Mountain Touchdown Club of Birmingham, Ala. In the five years the award has been given, it has never left the state of Alabama, as Nick Saban has captured it three times (2009, 2011, 2012) and former Auburn coach Gene Chizik garnered the honor in 2010.
In this year's race, Malzahn beat out fellow finalists Art Briles (Baylor), David Cutcliffe (Duke), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State) and Jimbo Fisher(Florida State). Fisher and the Seminoles handed Malzahn one of his two defeats this year, as the Tigers lost in the BCS championship game 34-31.
Even so, Auburn's 12-2 record — one year after going 3-9 — helped them tie for the biggest single-season turnaround in NCAA history.
Malzahn will receive the Bowden Award on March 2 at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham, with the legendary former Florida State coach presenting the award himself. Bowden will also honor former Georgia coach Vince Dooley with a lifetime achievement award.
Friday's distinction marked the second national coaching award Malzahn has been selected for this week, following Wednesday's nod as the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year. It's the sixth national coaching honor for Malzahn overall, as he also won the Associated Press, Home Depot, Eddie Robinson and Liberty Mutual awards.