San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was named the Associated Press' NFL Coach of the Year on Saturday.
Harbaugh, a Paly grad and the former coach of the Stanford football team, just wrapped his first season as the 49ers' coach, during which he virtually doubled the team's wins and brought them all the way to the Superbowl's doorsteps.
"For a rookie coach to come in and take his team to a 13-3 season when they were 6-10 the year before is incredible," Yahoo! Sports contributing writer David Mehrwein wrote Monday. "Coach Harbaugh did it without any big name free agents or any huge upgrades from the previous year - except a couple new players in the secondary. He did it with a core group of players who were very talented individually and turned them into a football team."
"There were many games where he out-coached the competition, and he changed a losing culture in San Francisco quickly," said NBC Sports' Gregg Rosenthal.
For the award, out of nearly 50 Associated Press voters, Harbaugh received a whopping 45 votes, compared to Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who got three, and Denver Broncos' John Fox, who got two.
Forty-niners quarterback Alex Smith accepted the award on Harbaugh's behalf in a ceremony following Sunday night's Super Bowl.
"I think it was an amazing season," Harbaugh said. "In a lot of ways, beyond description. Incredible."
Harbaugh is the first 49ers coach to win the award since Bill Walsh in 1981.