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Tennessee football head coach Josh Heupel on the Dodd Trophy watch list

Tennessee football head coach Josh Heupel on the Dodd Trophy watch list

Josh Heupel, head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers football team, was named to the preseason Dodd Trophy nominee list.

Tennessee Football League head coach Josh Heupel is about to enter his fourth season as head coach of the Volunteers, and it’s safe to say the team is in a much better place than he found it. He helped lead the team to bowl appearances three straight seasons, compiling a 27-12 record in those three years. Now that he’s entering his fourth season, expectations are rising, and he’s now been named a candidate for the Dodd Trophy Award.

Heupel was named to the Dodd List for Coach of the Year along with a host of other SEC head coaches. Kirby Smart, Brian Kelly, Eli Drinkwitz and Steve Starkisian also made the list. If Heupel takes home the award, he would be the first Tennessee head coach to do so. In fact, no SEC coach has won the award since Nick Saban in 2014.

Tennessee has yet to make the College Football Playoff under Heupel, but it looks like that trend will end in the near future. With the College Football Playoff expanding to 12 teams, the field opens up for whole new teams to compete each year, and the Volunteers will likely be among them.

The Volunteers will be led by first-year starter Nico Iamaleava at quarterback, but he will also be surrounded by a number of veterans on both sides of the ball who could help smooth out the learning curves that many first-year quarterbacks go through.

The Dodd Trophy is about more than just winning on the football field, but if Heupel can finally secure a playoff spot this season, he’ll be in a position to take home the award.

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