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The Lifetime Achievement Award

Learn more about the Lifetime Achievement Award and view all the past years’ recipients.

First awarded in 2000, the Paul “Bear” Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the career accomplishments of some of college’s finest football coaches.  The only award of its kind in the college football arena, the award highlights the outstanding achievements and extraordinary contributions which have reflected honor and sportsmanship to the game of football throughout the coach’s career.

The American Heart Association’s 29th annual Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards presented by Marathon Oil Corporation, announced today that Jimmy Johnson, one of the most respected and accomplished football coaches in NCAA and NFL history, will be named the recipient of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Johnson at the event on Jan. 14, 2015 in Houston.

There is no doubt that Johnson made a name for himself in the coaching world of football. His successful career spans an impressive range of coaching experience not only in the NCAA but also in the NFL, taking over for renowned coaches and becoming one of only three men to win an NCAA championship and a Super Bowl.

Johnson gained significant experience as an assistant coach for multiple colleges acquiring more responsibility with each position. After a solid five year stint as Oklahoma State’s head coach, his head coaching career truly took off when he landed the same position at the University of Miami. His record from 1984 through 1988 was an astonishing 52-9, including a four year regular season record of 42-2 from 1985 through 1988.

Furthermore, as the no holds barred leader of a brash group of Hurricanes, he led Miami to the 1987 national championship. From 1989 to 1993, he proved his title as head coach for the Dallas Cowboys as he coached his team to win two back-to-back Super Bowls. His final coaching stint was taking over for Don Shula in 1996 to coach the Miami Dolphins where his team went to the playoffs three out of four seasons.

List of past recipients:

2000 – Darrell Royal

2001 – Charles McClendon
2002 – Bill Yeoman
2003 – Frank Broyles
2004 – Gene Stallings
2005 – Lou Holtz
2006 – Jack Pardee
2007 – Glenn “Bo” Schembechler
2008 – Tom Osborne
2009 – Barry Switzer
2010 – Vince Dooley
2011 – Bobby Bowden
2012 – Hayden Fry
2013 – LaVell Edwards
2014 – R.C. Slocum
2015 – Jimmy Johnson