HOUSTON — Scott Frost will have to make room for yet another trophy.
The Nebraska head coach, who led UCF to a 13-0 record and a win over Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, was named the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year on Wednesday, marking his fifth major national coach of the year award.
Frost, who took a UCF team that was 0-12 the year before his arrival to unprecedented heights in 2017 — including a No. 6 ranking in the final Associated Press poll — was also awarded coach of the year honors from the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association, Home Depot (as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards) and the Football Writers Association of America.
“It’s an honor,” Frost said. “Obviously [Bear Bryant] is one of the greats. This is a team award. I’m just happy to represent the players and coaches that had such a phenomenal year.”
Frost is first since former Boise State coach Chris Petersen in 2009 with a non-Power 5 program.
The 43-year-old Frost was 19-7 in his first two years as a head coach, both at UCF. He accepted the head-coaching job at his alma mater, Nebraska, on Dec. 2. Frost won a national championship with the Cornhuskers as a player in 1997.
He split time between his duties at Nebraska and UCF in December and January, coaching the Knights in the Peach Bowl. But now he’s looking forward to his future in Lincoln, noting that he has moved on.
“They’ve turned the page,” Frost said of the Knights. “They had a parade the other day without us, and I think we’ve turned the page; we’re ready to get started working for Nebraska. But none of that will take away from the relationships and the special time we had with the players at UCF.”
Frost said he’ll hit the recruiting trail this weekend and is looking forward to his new challenge.
“There’s a lot to do. There’s a lot to fix. There’s a lot to build,” Frost said of his new job. “Recruiting takes priority. You can’t win games without players. I don’t care how good a coach you are. Bad coaches can win with good talent. We’ll get the rest done in time, but starting this weekend, we’re going to be focused on recruiting.”
Steve Spurrier was honored with the Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award.
“It’s very nice,” Spurrier said. “I was telling somebody I’m the only coach here that Bear Bryant recruited me out of high school. I visited Alabama way back in 1962. Alabama was playing Miami that day. … It was only 3-3 at halftime and Alabama won 36-3. They clobbered them in the second half.”
Spurrier finished his career as the winningest coach at Florida (122-27-1) and South Carolina (86-49).
“He was really good to all the coaches all over the country,” Spurrier said about Bryant. “A really fun guy to be around.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.