The Associated Press named Arizona Cardinals new head coach Bruce Arians the 2012 Coach of the Year Saturday night for his work this past season with the Indianapolis Colts. In winning the award the Pittsburgh Steelers former offensive coordinator become the first interim to ever win the award.
Arians took over as as interim head coach of the Colts in late September after head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia and was forced to take a leave of absence to undergo treatment. The Colts went 9-3 under Arians and made the playoffs after going 2-14 the previous season.
Pagano did manage to return to coach the regular season finale and the Wild Card game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Arians earned 36 1/2 votes from a nationwide panel made up of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. Pagano managed to finish second with 5 1/2 votes, while Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll finished third with 5 votes and Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier finished fourth with 3 votes.
Arians spent only one season with the Colts and managed to succeed with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck under center. Luck was the first overall selection in the 2012 NFL draft last April.
Arians accepted his award Saturday night at the “2nd Annual NFL Honors” awards show on CBS, which recognized the NFL\’s best players, performances and plays from the 2012 season.
Arians had spent the last five season in Pittsburgh as the Steelers offensive coordinator and did not have his contract renewed last offseason.