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Saturday, January 16, 2010
Caldwell a distant fourth in award voting

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

It’s rare that a very good team plays for a new coach. The vast majority of movement comes because a team is bad.

Tony Dungy’s retirement created the uncommon scenario for Jim Caldwell, who’s done excellent work in his rookie season as the Colts coach. He'll walk the sideline Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium on his 54th birthday, coaching his first playoff game.

But voters on the AP panel who select coach of the year stuck with the custom, and looked to the coach of a turnaround team in naming Marvin Lewis the winner.

Lewis got 20 votes, with Sean Payton second at 11, Norv Turner third with nine, Caldwell fourth with seven and Andy Reid and Ken Whisenhunt getting one vote apiece.

Caldwell’s done excellent work, and maintaining the Colts’ culture, expectations and production isn’t as easy as it may appear. Nonetheless, enough people judged him as a guy who hit the jackpot with his inheritance and managed not to botch it.