Wink Martindale, Bobb McKittrick and John Mitchell were selected as the 2023 Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman Award winners, the Professional Football Writers of America announced Monday.
The Dr. Z Award is given for lifetime achievement as an assistant coach in the NFL. The award is named for Zimmerman, who covered the NFL for 29 years as Sports Illustrated‘s lead pro football writer.
Martindale, McKittrick and Mitchell are the 21st, 22nd and 23rd recipients of the award, which began in 2014.
Other 2023 finalists for the Dr. Z Award were late defensive coordinator Thomas Catlin and late defensive coordinator Floyd Peters.
Martindale, the Giants defensive coordinator, broke into the NFL in 2004 as a linebackers coach with the Raiders. He spent 10 seasons with the Ravens, including four as the defensive coordinator.
Martindale’s defenses were among the league’s top three in scoring in three of those four years as the Ravens’ coordinator, including No. 1 in his first season with the team. He was on the staff for the team’s Super Bowl XLVII win.
McKittrick developed athletic, undersized offensive lines for the 49ers for 21 years, helping the team win five Super Bowl titles. He spent 28 seasons as an NFL offensive line coach, also coaching for the Rams and Chargers before joining the 49ers in 1979.
Mitchell broke the color barrier as a player at Alabama and was the first African American defensive coordinator in the SEC. He spent five decades as a coach including 29 with the Steelers before his retirement in February.
His tenure with the Steelers included three Super Bowl trips and two Super Bowl wins.