NEW YORK (FWAA) – Oregon coach Chip Kelly has been
named the winner of the 2010 FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the
Year Award, becoming the first Pacific 10 Conference coach to
win the award since 1997.
Eddie Robinson Award, which is sponsored by the Tostitos Fiesta
Bowl, was highlighted during a reception Monday afternoon at
the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel where Kelly accepted the trophy. The entire
FWAA membership votes on the association's Coach of the Year Award,
which was narrowed to eight finalists in late November. The last
Pac-10 coach to win the award was Mike Price, then coach at Washington
Kelly, in his second season at Oregon, becomes the second Ducks
coach to win the FWAA award after Rich Brooks in 1994. This season's
unbeaten Oregon team (12-0) is headed to play unbeaten Auburn (13-0)
in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 10 in Glendale,
Kelly's high-octane offense at Oregon has dominated the Pacific-10
Conference in its final season before expanding to become the Pac-12
next year. The Ducks lead the country in scoring with 49.3 points
per game and are second in total offense with 537.50 yards per game.
Their only close game was a 15-13 thriller at California on Nov.
"It is really an honor for me to stand here and represent our
university in winning awards like this," Kelly said. "It is pretty
humbling to have your name and Eddie Robinson's said in the same
sentence. It is kind of funny, to keep it in perspective, if I won
10 games for the next 38 years, I would still be six wins short
of Eddie Robinson. So, he was quite a man and really one of the
true gentlemen of college football.
"Obviously, what this means to us and our university, I really
can't put into words. But I also have always felt every coach of
the year award is more a representation of your team. This award
is shared with our great assistant coaches and with a bunch of young
man back in Eugene, Oregon, who are truly special."
The FWAA has honored a major-college coach with its Coach of
the Year Award since 1957. In 1997, the FWAA coaching award was
named after Eddie Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State
University for 55 years. The late "Coach Rob" is the winningest
coach in Division I history (408 games) and the move to present
this award in New York City is a natural. The Grambling Tigers,
whom 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
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 aforementioned
Yankee Stadium. And, with his star-studded array of players, Robinson
helped integrate professional football.
In 1975, with one of his greatest teams quarterback 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.
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 on professional
A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Robinson has the
keys to cities all over the planet, has been awarded in every form
and fashion and has honorary degrees from many schools. Last February,
the Eddie Robinson Museum was opened in his honor in Grambling,
La., where numerous memorabilia now reside, including a bust of
the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization
founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women 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 FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve
Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-713-6198.
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 Web site, ncfaa.org.
The Fiesta Bowl is a non-profit organization founded by
Arizona community leaders in 1971. Through the creation of the Festival
of College Football, which is inclusive of more than 40 statewide
events, the annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and the Insight Bowl, the
organization continues to promote volunteerism, athletic achievement
and higher education. Its mission is to remain a source of pride
for all Arizonans by contributing strongly to the state's economic
development, tourism and community causes.
Eddie Robinson Award
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• Eight finalists named for 2010 Eddie Robinson
• Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year
Award | All-time winners