Football Writers Association of America May 25, 2010
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
972-713-6198
.pdf version
Coach of the Year to be presented at NFF event
Bookmark and Share  
EDDIE ROBINSON AWARD
EVENT MOVES TO NEW YORK CITY

DALLAS (FWAA) The Football Writers Association of America's Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award announcement and reception, sponsored by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, will be held in New York City in 2010 in conjunction with the annual National Football Foundation Awards Dinner in early December.

This season's Coach of the Year announcement will be made on the afternoon of Mon., Dec. 6 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, the day before the annual NFF Banquet is held at the same venue. A reception and news conference are planned to announce the winner, which is expected to be carried live on ESPNews.

"We at the FWAA will be honored to present our Eddie Robinson Award every December in New York City," said Tim Griffin, the Football Writers Association of America's 2010-11 president. "It's only natural that college football's most revered award for coaching excellence will now be announced along with the festivities of the National Football Foundation's annual awards dinner. The fact it will be announced in the nation's media center makes it even more exciting. We are thrilled with our upcoming opportunity."

"The Fiesta Bowl is honored to be involved with the Eddie Robinson Award," Fiesta Bowl chairman Duane Woods said. "This move will allow the most prestigious national coaching award to reach an even broader audience. We are grateful to the National Football Foundation and the FWAA for their efforts in making this happen."

Coach Robinson's son, Eddie Jr., is expected to be on hand for the announcement, which will be attended by other coaches, former Grambling players and coaches of the year, Fiesta Bowl, FWAA and NFF officials, as well as specials guests and members of the media.

"The Eddie Robinson family is very excited about helping to bring this award ceremony to New York City," Eddie Robinson Jr. said. "Our family's relationship with this great city goes back at least four decades when in 1968 Grambling played Morgan State before a large crowd at Yankee Stadium. I am certain that my late father would be just as excited as we are."

The late Eddie Robinson is the winningest coach in Division I history (408 wins) and the move to present this award in New York City is a natural. The Grambling Tigers, which Robinson coached from 1941-97 played numerous regular-season games at Yankee Stadium starting in the late 1960s and into the 1970s and later at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

Robinson, who passed away on April 3, 2007, won 70.7 percent of his games during his illustrious career. Robinson's teams won or tied for 17 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships after joining the league in 1959. His Tigers claimed nine Black College Football Championships during his career spent all at the same school.

Robinson, who was named by the FWAA in 1966 as "The Coach Who Made the Biggest Contribution to College Football in the Past 25 Years," often took his show on the road to places such as the Louisiana Superdome, the Cotton Bowl, the Astrodome, Tiger Stadium and the aforementioned Yankee Stadium. And, with his star-studded array of African-American players, Robinson helped integrate professional football.

In 1949, Grambling standout Tank Younger was the first player from a Historically Black College to sign with an NFL team (Los Angeles Rams). By 1963, Buck Buchanan became the first player from a Historically Black College to be selected first overall in the professional draft (American Football League by the Kansas City Chiefs). Over the years, Robinson produced a who's who of professional football players, with more than 200 of his former players dotting professional rosters.

In 1975, with one of his greatest teams quarterbacked by eventual All-Pro Doug Williams, Robinson's Grambling team and Alcorn State became the first college teams to play a game in the Louisiana Superdome. The next season, Robinson's Tigers, along with Morgan State became the first American college football teams to play in Japan.

A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Robinson has the keys to cities all over the planet, has been honored in every form and fashion and has honorary degrees from many schools.

In February, the Eddie Robinson Museum was opened in his honor in Grambling, La., where much of his memorabilia now resides, including a bust of the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.

The FWAA, Fiesta Bowl and Eddie Robinson and family have been joined together since the 1998 football season. The FWAA coach of the year award took on the legendary Coach Robinson as its namesake during the 1997 football season, his final season as Grambling's coach.

Last season, TCU's Gary Patterson won the Eddie Robinson Award after leading the Horned Frogs to an unbeaten regular season and an appearance in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the school's first-ever Bowl Championship Series berth. Over the past 14 years, winners of the award have included Alabama's Nick Saban, Florida's Urban Meyer, Rutgers' Greg Schiano, Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, Ohio State's Jim Tressel, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Maryland's Ralph Friedgen.

The FWAA has chosen a Coach of the Year since the 1957 football season, when Ohio State's Woody Hayes won the inaugural award. The winning coach is selected by a vote of the entire membership after finalists are nominated by the association's All-America committee and placed on a ballot.

The Eddie Robinson Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game's predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association's official website, ncfaa.org.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,100 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards, and its annual All-America team.

For more information about the Eddie Robinson Award, visit eddierobinsonaward.com or footballwriters.com. For more information FWAA and its member and awards programs, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson (tiger@fwaa.com or 972-713-6198).

Related links:
Eddie Robinson Award (eddierobinsonaward.com)
All-time FWAA Coaches of the Year