Bryant coach talking to a player

History of the Awards

While the Coach of the Year Award has been an annual tradition since 1957, The Bryant Family felt moved to educate and impact awareness around heart disease and stroke following “Bear’s” passing. The family approached the American Heart Association to create a meaningful partnership to keep “Bear’s” legacy alive while raising funds to support research. In 1986, the American Heart Association adopted and re-named the award.

In the past 31 years since the award was renamed, the Bryant Awards has raised over $8.5 million to fund research, advocacy and educational programs across the country that are necessary for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

American Heart Association is dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The organization is second only to the federal government in funding cardiovascular research, and with heart disease claiming the lives of 787,000 annually, it is now more important than ever to support the organization’s efforts through programming like the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards. “Bear” always talked about being bigger than something other than himself. The Bryant Awards offer an opportunity to do just that – to be a part of team Bryant in the fight against heart disease and stroke.