DALLAS (FWAA) – Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy
has been named the winner of the 2011 Eddie Robinson Coach of
the Year Award. The
award, presented by the Fiesta Bowl, is selected
by the members of the 1,200-member strong Football Writers Association
Gundy, a finalist for the award a year ago, is the first Oklahoma State coach to win the FWAA's coach of the year award and was selected in an association-wide
vote from five finalists, including Michigan's Brady Hoke, LSU's
Les Miles, Kansas State's Bill Snyder and Clemson's Dabo Swinney.
Gundy is the third coach from the Big 12 Conference to win the
award in the last 12 years.
The official presentation of the Eddie Robinson bust to Gundy
will be at a reception on Jan. 8, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. at Cochon in
the New Orleans Warehouse District. ESPN's Mark May will host the
event. Eddie Robinson Jr., officials from the Fiesta Bowl, the FWAA
and the Eddie Robinson Museum will be in attendance.
"What an honor to be recognized with the Eddie Robinson Coach
of the Year Award," Gundy said. "We've had a tremendous year at
Oklahoma State, winning the Big 12 and earning our first-ever trip
to a BCS bowl. It's a testament to our players and our coaching
staff that we are in the position that we are in. I want to thank
the Football Writers Association of America for recognizing our
team in this way."
Gundy led the Cowboys to their first outright conference
title since 1948, when the school was a member of the Missouri
Valley Conference. The Cowboys (11-1) won their first 10 games
before they suffered an upset loss in overtime at Iowa State.
But they rebounded with a decisive 44-10 season-ending victory
over arch-rival Oklahoma to win the undisputed Big 12 title and
earn the school's first berth in a BCS bowl game.
"Mike Gundy has earned this honor by inspiring excellence in
his players. He led Oklahoma State to an 11-1 record in one of the
nation's toughest conferences, and he did it with an entertaining
style of play that captured the nation's attention," said Robert
Shelton, the Fiesta Bowl Executive Director. "The Tostitos Fiesta
Bowl is thrilled to match the Cowboys against the Stanford Cardinal
in the highest-rated non-championship BCS bowl this year."
The Cowboys are one of the most explosive teams in college football
this year, ranking second in the country in points per game (49.3),
second in the country in passing offense (386.2 yards) and third
in the country in total offense (557.0 yards).
"Coach Gundy is a very worthy winner of the Eddie Robinson Award
this season," said Tommy Hicks, 2011 FWAA president. "The Cowboys
were one of college football's most exciting offensive teams and
came within an overtime loss of making the national title game.
Oklahoma State has risen to national prominence under Coach Gundy."
Gundy, 44, become Oklahoma State's head football coach in 2005,
when he succeeded Les Miles. He has compiled a 58-30 overall record
in seven seasons.
The third-ranked Cowboys are in their sixth straight bowl game under
Gundy – the longest postseason streak in school history.
Gundy played quarterback at Oklahoma State from
1986-89 under coach Pat Jones and starred on teams that included
Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders and standout running back Thurman
Thomas. Gundy has been a part of four of Oklahoma State's five 10-victory
seasons in its history as either a player or coach.
"The Robinson Family is very pleased to honor another outstanding
coach," said Eddie Robinson Jr., the late coach's son. "Over the
years, the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award has gone to the
'Who's Who' of the coaching profession. My father would be very
proud to welcome coach Mike Gundy into that fraternity of coaches."
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, the coaching legend at Grambling State
University for 55 years. The late "Coach Rob" is the second winningest
coach in Division I history (408 games).
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 was named by the FWAA in 1966 as "The Coach Who Made
the Biggest Contribution to College Football in the Past 25 Years."
He often took his show on the road to places such as the Louisiana
Superdome, the Cotton Bowl, the Astrodome, Tiger Stadium and Yankee
Stadium. And, with his star-studded array of players, Robinson helped
integrate professional football.
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.
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 more than 200 players
who wound up on professional rosters.
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. In 2010,
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 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.
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.
Eddie Robinson Award
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• Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year
Award | All-time winners