Reggie Herring, Arkansas's defensive coordinator, is one of the five finalists for the Broyles Award, given each year to the nation's top assistant football coach. The award was created by David Bazzel and several top former head coaches in honor of UA athletic director Frank Broyles, whose legacy was sending more than 50 assistants on to head coaching jobs in college and pro football. But, outside of Keith Burns in 1998, no Arkansas assistant coach has been a finalist until Herring.
Assistants are nominated by their head coach. The nominees are then screened and pared to five by a panel of elite former head football coaches.
Other finalists are Joe Daniels, offensive coordinator for Ohio State and position coach for Heisman Trophy favorite Troy Smith; Louisville offensive coordinator Paul Petrino, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables and Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster. Foster is a four-time finalist for the award, which was started in 1997.
If you're looking for the odds-on favorite to win this award when it's presented at a Rotary Club of Little Rock meeting in January, Daniels is a great story, if it doesn't finally go to Foster. During the summer, Daniels suffered a heart attack and then was diagnosed with kidney cancer, yet he's been with Ohio State and Smith all season as the Buckeyes have rolled to a perfect record and the No. 1 ranking in the BCS poll. Ohio State will likely play either Southern Cal or Michigan in the championship game Jan. 8 in Glendale, Ariz.