TEMPE, Ariz. (FWAA) – Utah coach Urban Meyer, whose Utes
won the Mountain West Conference and posted an 11-0 regular-season record,
was named the winner of the Football Writers Association of America/Eddie
Robinson Coach of the Year Award on Saturday night.
An announcement was made on ABC television during the Tostitos Fiesta
Meyer coached the Utes in the Fiesta Bowl, but he will head to Florida
to coach the Gators following the bowl game. He will be honored by the FWAA,
Fiesta Bowl and Eddie Robinson Foundation before his first game as Florida's
coach on Sept. 3 against Wyoming in Gainesville, Fla.
The other finalists for the award were Southern California's Pete Carroll,
Auburn's Tommy Tuberville, UTEP's Mike Price, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz and California's
Meyer has been one of the rising success stories in college football
during the past four years. As coach of Utah for two seasons, he had compiled
a 21-2 record going into the Fiesta Bowl. Previous to that, Meyer was the
head coach of Bowling Green University where he had a 17-6 record in two
Meyer, who led the Utes to a 17-0 victory over Southern Mississippi in
the 2003 Liberty Bowl, is the first coach from a non-Bowl Championship Series
school to coach his team to a BCS Bowl.
"He certainly is an outstanding winner," said FWAA Executive Director
Steve Richardson. "We had six great candidates, any one of whom who could
have won the award. Coach Meyer has been on a meteoric rise in the college
football coaching profession. And there is no reason to think he won't keep
streaking at his new job."
Michael Watkins, Eddie Robinson's grandson and executive director of
the Eddie Robinson Foundation, presented the award to Meyer. "It's an honor
to present this award to Coach Meyer for leading Utah to its greatest season
in school history," Watkins said.
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 FWAA honors the
outstanding coach in the name of Grambling State University's Eddie Robinson,
the winningest Division I head coach in college football history.
• Eddie Robinson Coach of the
Year Award winners