The Broyles Award goes annually to the top assistant coach in college football as voted on by the award’s selection committee. Five finalists were announced for the 2021 Broyles Award on Monday: Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, Wake Forest offensive coordinator Warren Ruggiero and Baylor offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes. Texas coach Steve Sarkisian won the award last year for his work as Alabama’s offensive coordinator.
Lanning has helped construct and lead one of the top defenses in recent college football history as the Bulldogs remain undefeated at 12-0 and are a shoo-in to return to the College Football Playoff. Knowles, meanwhile, has elevated Oklahoma State’s defense to levels not seen under head coach Mike Gundy — the Cowboys have always been known more for their offense, like most Big 12 programs. Kirk Herbstreit lauded Knowles’ work during ABC’s broadcast of Oklahoma State’s 37-33 win over Oklahoma this past Saturday.