The Associated Press announced today that Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has won their Coach of the Year honors for 2009.
Lewis led the Bengals to a 10-6 record in 2009 after a 4-11-1 finish the previous year. In addition, the Bengals swept their division for the first time in franchise history, defeating Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cleveland twice en route to a division championship. Most impressively perhaps, was how Lewis held his team together during two mid-season tragedies. The wife of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer passed away suddenly in week five, and then wide-out Chris Henry was killed in an accident during week 15.
Lewis, who received 20 and 1/2 out of 50 panel votes, beat out Saints coach Sean Payton and Chargers head man Norv Turner. He is only the second Bengals coach to win the award in the franchise’s history. The legendary Paul Brown won the award back in 1970.