Petersen wins Bear Bryant coach of year award

HOUSTON -- Boise State coach Chris Petersen, whose Broncos finished the season unbeaten with a stunning 43-42 overtime victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, received the Paul "Bear" Bryant College Coach of the Year award Thursday night.

The award, named for the former Alabama coach, is given by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

"Chris Petersen possesses a strength and drive that motivates teams to win," NSSA president Mike Donoghue said in a news release. "Boise State has in Petersen what all universities want, a creative leader with dedication and heart, who lays it all on the line, every game. Like Coach Bryant, Petersen inspires his team to give 100 percent on and off the field."

Boise State finished the season 13-0 and ranked No. 5 in the final Associated Press college football poll.

The Bryant coaching awards benefit the American Heart Association.