1. Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers
This award typically goes to the teams that went from worst to first or shocked the league. This year, though, I’m going with the coach who made the toughest decision, stuck by it, and silenced all critics by being right. The 49ers were a good, sound team with Alex Smith under center. They’re a downright dangerous team with Colin Kaepernick. Decisions like the one Harbaugh made with his quarterbacks midway through the 2012 campaign are not only rare, they’re downright unheard of. In addition to that move, Harbaugh’s been able to successfully manage a host of new personalities on the team, including Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, and the recently suspended Brandon Jacobs. Everyone circled the 49ers as a team that’d either take a giant leap forward or backwards this season. They’ve done the former and they’ve done so with a lot more style and substance than ever was imagined. Harbaugh could have played this season safe. He didn’t. He’s my Coach of the Year. 2. Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks
Carroll had the courage to start a third-round rookie over a much-hyped offseason free agent signing at quarterback this season. How’s that worked out? Moreover, the Seahawks have won in dramatic fashion in numerous games, feature one of the top defenses in the league and have the entire league on notice after three straight wins. There are more surprising teams in Indianapolis and Washington this year, but no surprisingly successful team resembles their head coach more than the young and confident Seahawks. - Peter Schrager
(AP Photos: Marcio Jose Sanchez/Stephen Brashear) Courtesy of FOXSports.comThe opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.