NEW YORK -- Marvin Lewis has won The Associated Press 2009 NFL Coach of the Year award for guiding his team to the playoffs during a season marked by tragedy.
The Cincinnati Bengals won the AFC North with a 10-6 record, just their second division title since 1990, both under Lewis. They did so despite the deaths of receiver Chris Henry and Vikki Zimmer, the wife of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
For holding his team together and leading a turnaround from a 4-11-1 record in 2008, Lewis earned 20½ votes Saturday from a nationwide panel of 50 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the league. He beat Sean Payton of New Orleans (11½) and Norv Turner (9).
Lewis is the first Bengals coach to win the honor since Paul Brown in 1970.
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