DALLAS (FWAA) – Six semifinalists for the 2003 Eddie
Robinson/FWAA Coach of the Year Award were announced on Wednesday
by the Football Writers Association of America.
Southern California's Pete Carroll, Navy's Paul Johnson,
Tulsa's Steve Kragthorpe, Texas Christian's Gary Patterson,
LSU's Nick Saban and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops were named
semifinalists for the award whose winner will be named Jan. 8 in
The FWAA has presented a Coach of the Year Award since 1957 and
annually selects the winner by a vote of its entire membership.
The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and America West Airlines sponsor the
Carroll's Pac-10 champion USC Trojans (11-1) will face Michigan
in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. Because USC is ranked No. 1 in the Associated
Press poll, it can lay claim to a national championship with a victory
over the Wolverines.
Johnson has led Navy to an 8-4 mark and an appearance in the
Houston Bowl in his second season at the Academy. The Midshipmen
have enjoyed their first winning season since 1997 and they won
the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for the first time since 1981. Navy's
postseason appearance is its first since the 1996 season.
Kragthorpe is in his first season at Tulsa. Going into the Humanitarian
Bowl against Georgia Tech, Kragthorpe has fashioned an 8-4 record
with Tulsa, which was 1-11 last season. His coaching job helped
produce the biggest turnaround in Division I-A this season. And,
the eight victories are the most at the school since 1991.
Patterson's Horned Frogs (11-1) were 10-0 and challenging for
a spot in the BCS before losing their 11th game of the season against
Southern Mississippi. Still, TCU will appear in its sixth straight
bowl game when it faces Boise State in the first Fort Worth Bowl
on Dec. 23.
Stoops' Sooners (12-1) and will meet Saban's SEC champion LSU
team (12-1) in the Nokia Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4, 2004, in New Orleans.
The winner of the Bowl Championship Series 1-2 game will grab at
least a share of the national championship.
Stoops won the Eddie Robinson Award in 2000 when the Sooners
compiled a 13-0 season and defeated Florida State in the FedEx Orange
Bowl. Saban is a first-time semifinalist, as are the other four
The FWAA honors an outstanding coach each year in the name of
Grambling State University's Eddie Robinson, the winningest Division
I head coach in college football history.
The banquet also helps support the Eddie Robinson Foundation,
which is based in Atlanta.