Gophers football coach Jerry Kill is one of five finalists to be named the National Coach of the Year.
The American Football Coaches Association named Kill a Regional Coach of the Year on Tuesday, according to the Star Tribune.
Football Bowl Subdivision
Region 1: Jimbo Fisher, Florida State University
Region 2: Gary Pinkel, University of Missouri
Region 3: Jerry Kill, University of Minnesota
Region 4: Art Briles, Baylor University
Region 5: David Shaw, Stanford University
All five coaches will be recognized at an AFCA convention on Jan. 14. One of the five regional winners will be named the National Coach of the Year.
It's some stiff competition for Kill, who helped lead the Gophers to a surprising 8-4 season and an upcoming trip to play Syracuse in the Texas Bowl. Fisher, Pinkel, Briles and Shaw led their teams to BCS bowl games.
According to the Pioneer Press, this is Kill's third time being recognized for coaching excellence by the AFCA.
Minnesota State head coach Aaron Keen and Bethel's Steve Johnson were also named Regional Coach of the Year for Division II and Division III.
Here's how the process works, according to the AFCA's website.
The AFCA recognizes five regional Coach of the Year winners in each of the Association’s five divisions: Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA. The winners are selected by Active members of the Association who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions.