The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers entered postseason play holding an 11-0 record that, in the eyes of some, made them worthy candidates for the College Football Playoff.
Coastal Carolina didn't receive the chance to play for the national championship, but coach Jamey Chadwell was honored on Wednesday as the Associated Press college football Coach of the Year.
Chadwell's biggest single achievement of the season came when his Chanticleers handed the BYU Cougars their first loss of the campaign on Dec. 5. COVID-19 issues prevented Coastal Carolina from facing the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns in the Sun Belt Conference football championship contest on Dec. 19, and those programs were named co-champions.
The Chanticleers fell to the Liberty Flames in the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl last Saturday.
Chadwell becomes the first Sun Belt Conference coach to earn the AP honor and the third coach from a non-Power Five school to win it. He earned 16 first-place votes and 88 points to finish ahead of Indiana Hoosiers coach Tom Allen (14 first-place votes and 66 points).
Luke Fickell of the Cincinnati Bearcats (five first-place votes, 44 points) and Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide (eight first-place votes, 42 points) rounded out the top four.
As noted by Coastal Carolina's official website, Chadwell has also won 2020 Walter Camp Coach of the Year, 2020 CBS Sports/247Sports Coach of the Year and Paul "Bear" Bryant Group of 5 2020 Conference Coach of the Year. Additionally, he took home the 2020 Sun Belt Coach of the Year and the 2020 Werner Ladder AFCA FBS Region 2 Coach of the Year awards.
Chadwell remains a finalist for two other awards and a semifinalist for a third.