DALLAS (FWAA) – The Football Writers Association of
America, in conjunction with the Fiesta Bowl, has announced nine
finalists for the 2012 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, whose
winner will be revealed on Thursday, Dec. 13.
In alphabetical order the finalists are: Gary Andersen (Utah
State), Dave Doeren (Northern Illinois),
Brian Kelly (Notre Dame),
Urban Meyer (Ohio State), Will Muschamp (Florida),
(Penn State), David Shaw (Stanford), Bill Snyder (Kansas State)
and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M).
The finalists will be placed on a ballot which is being sent to the
entire FWAA membership today. Ballots will be accepted
from the membership through Dec. 8. FWAA members were asked to vote
for their top choices in the order they believe the coaches are
deserving of the award.
The official presentation reception will be on Jan. 6, 2013, in Fort
Lauderdale, Fla., where the winning coach will be given the FWAA/Eddie
Robinson Coach of the Year Award during a reception at the media
Of the finalists, only Meyer previously has captured the FWAA
coaching award, in 2004 during his final season at Utah.
Here is a look at the nine finalists:
Gary Andersen, Utah State (10-2): The Aggies
set a school season record with 10 victories and claimed their first outright
league championship since 1936 as Anderson guided Utah State to the
Western Athletic Conference title. Included in the victories was
a 48-41 overtime win over then-20th-ranked Louisiana Tech. Utah
State lost only to BYU (by three points) and Wisconsin (by two).
Dave Doeren, Northern Illinois (12-1): After
a season-opening 18-17 loss to Iowa at Soldier Field in Chicago,
the Huskies have won 12 straight games and earned the Mid-American
Conference's first Bowl Championship Series berth, a date with
Florida State in the Discover Orange Bowl. The Hukies capped off the
regular season with a 44-37 overtime victory over Kent State,
another one-loss team at the time, in the MAC Championship game.
The season catapulted Doren to accept the N.C. State job.
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame (12-0): The Fighting Irish
finished a perfect regular season with a victory over arch-rival
USC at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Notre Dame finished the regular season as the
top-ranked team in college football in all the major polls and will
face Alabama in the Discover BCS National Championship Game on
Jan. 7, 2013. Kelly was a finalist for the award in 2009 while
Urban Meyer, Ohio State (12-0): Despite being
on NCAA probation because of violations from the previous staff
and ineligible for the Big Ten title and postseason play, Meyer's
Buckeyes completed the school's sixth perfect regular season in
his first season at the school. Meyer won the award in 2004 at
Utah and was a finalist in 2008 while at Florida.
Will Muschamp, Florida (11-1): Save for its only
loss of the season to Georgia, Florida would have been in the SEC
title game. Nevertheless, the Gators, in Muschamp’s second season,
rebounded from last year's 7-6 record and made it to the
Allstate Sugar Bowl. Florida's notable victories came over Texas
A&M, LSU, South Carolina and Florida State.
Bill O'Brien, Penn State (8-4): O'Brien took
over a tough situation at Penn State in the aftermath of the Jerry
Sandusky scandal. While Penn Stated also suffered personnel
losses and campus turmoil, the first-year college coach kept the
Nittany Lions focused despite an 0-2 start. They capped the
season with a 24-21 overtime win over eventual Big Ten champion
David Shaw, Stanford (11-2): Shaw coached Stanford
to the Pac-12 Conference title with back-to-back victories over UCLA. A 17-14
overtime road victory at Oregon proved to be the biggest
victory of the season and unlocked the door to a Rose Bowl berth. Stanford lost only
road games to Washington and to Notre Dame in overtime during the 2012 season.
Bill Snyder, Kansas State (11-1): The Wildcats
have had a dream season, except for one nightmarish evening in Waco,
that ultimately cost the Wildcats a spot in the BCS Championship game. Quarterback
Collin Klein, a Heisman Trophy hopeful, has been the leader of the
Wildcats, who have made it to a BCS bowl for the second time in
their history as they will take on Oregon in the Tostitos Fiesta
Bowl. Snyder is a finalist for the award for a third time (1998
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M (10-2): In the school’s
first season in the Southeastern Conference and Sumlin's first year
in College Station, a magical season was hatched. Redshirt freshman
quarterback Johnny Manziel put a bid in for the Heisman Trophy
with a record-smashing season as the Aggies suffered only close home losses to SEC powers LSU and
Florida, and upset then-top-ranked Alabama, the Crimson Tide's
lone loss this season.
The FWAA has honored a major college coach with its coach of
the Year award since 1957. Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling
State University, has been the FWAA's coaching namesake for
the past 15 years. The Fiesta Bowl joined with the FWAA a year later
as the sponsor of the award.
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
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 email@example.com 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.
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Eddie Robinson Award
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