DALLAS (FWAA) – Kirk Ferentz, whose Iowa Hawkeyes
won 12 games in a season for the first time in school history, has
been named the first University of Iowa coach to win the 59th
FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, it
was announced on Wednesday by the Football Writers
Association of America.
Presented for a second straight year by the Allstate Sugar Bowl,
the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award honors the top coach
in the Football Bowl Subdivision as selected by the membership of the 75-year-old organization.
"It is rewarding to see the hard work of our entire coaching
staff and every member of our football program being recognized
on the national level," Ferentz said. "I appreciate the acknowledgement
of our accomplishments. I am honored to share this recognition with
our staff, our players, and our great fans, and I am grateful to
the University of Iowa for providing the necessary support for our
Ferentz's team had a 7-6 record in 2014 and was selected fourth
in a preseason 2015 Big Ten West Division media poll. But the
Hawkeyes won their
first 12 games in 2015 before falling to Michigan State, 16-13,
in the Big Ten championship game. For the first time since the 1990
season, the Hawkeyes will play in the Rose Bowl and face Pac-12
The FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award will be highlighted
during a reception on Jan. 9, 2016, at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback
Inn Resort and Spa. Ferentz will accept the Eddie Robinson Award
bust at the College Football Playoff National Championship media hotel.
Ferentz, 60, is in his 17th year at Iowa and has a 127-86 overall
record in Iowa City. The dean of the current Big Ten coaches trails
only Hayden Fry in terms of longevity as the
Iowa head football coach. He has guided Iowa to 13 bowl games in 17 seasons.
Ferentz has twice before been a finalist for the FWAA
coaching award, in 2002 and '04. But the last Big Ten Conference coach to win
it was Ohio State's Jim Tressel in 2002, the year the Buckeyes won
the national championship in the Fiesta Bowl with an overtime
victory over Miami.
What they are saying about Coach Ferentz:
"On behalf of the Eddie Robinson family, I want to extend congratulations
to coach Kirk Ferentz, his family and the Iowa Hawkeyes' football
program on him becoming the 2015 Eddie Robinson Award winner," said Eddie Robinson
III. "This is so special to me because my grandfather, coach Eddie
Robinson, was an Iowa Hawkeye (obtaining a master's degree from
the school). Coach Ferentz is well deserving of this award and is
an institution at Iowa."
"Kirk Ferentz's Hawkeyes, in a preseason poll of writers compiled
by cleveland.com, were picked to finish fourth in the seven-team
Big Ten West Division," said 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht
of the Omaha World-Herald. "They garnered zero first-place votes.
By the end of the regular season, Iowa was 12-0, ranked nationally
in the Top 5 and was the undisputed West champion. Ferentz's success
in retooling his program after a 7-6 season has earned him the FWAA's
national coaching honor."
"The Sugar Bowl Committee is pleased to recognize Coach Ferentz
for the outstanding job he did with Iowa this year," said T. Carey
Wicker, III, President of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. "While leading
the Hawkeyes to a perfect regular season and their first Rose Bowl
since 1991, Coach Ferentz has exhibited many of the same great characteristics
for which Eddie Robinson was known over his lifetime in coaching.
All of us here look forward to joining the Football Writers in honoring
Coach Ferentz with this great award next month in Arizona."
The entire FWAA membership had the opportunity to vote on the
Coach of the Year Award, which was narrowed to eight finalists earlier
this month. The other seven finalists were: Michigan State's Mark
Dantonio, Houston's Tom Herman, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, Temple's
Matt Ruhle, Stanford's David Shaw, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Clemson's
The FWAA has honored a major college coach with its Coach of
the Year Award since 1957 when Ohio State's Woody Hayes won the
inaugural honor. Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State
University, has been the FWAA's coaching namesake since 1997.
The late Robinson is the second winningest coach in Division
I football 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 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," took his show often 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 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
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 awarded in every form
and fashion and has honorary degrees from many schools. His bust
is one of two coaching awards that are displayed in the new College
Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
The Eddie Robinson Museum is open in his honor in Grambling,
La., where numerous memorabilia reside, including another bust of
the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.
Celebrating its 75th season, the Football Writers Association
of America, a non-profit organization, consists of more
than 1,400 men and women who cover college football. 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 game-day 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 214-870-6516.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier
college football bowl games, having hosted 27 national champions,
86 Hall of Fame players, 47 Hall of Fame coaches and 16 Heisman
Trophy winners in its 81-year history. The 82nd Allstate Sugar Bowl
Football Classic, featuring Oklahoma State from the Big 12 and Ole
Miss from the SEC, will be played on January 1, 2016. In addition
to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee is involved with various community
initiatives through hosting and sponsorships of sporting events,
awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports
and honors over 25,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting
over $2 billion into the local economy in the last decade. For more
information, visit AllstateSugarBowl.org.
The FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award is a member of
the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA
encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The
22 awards boast more than 700 years of tradition-selection excellence.
Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.
Eddie Robinson Award
• Iowa's Ferentz
wins 2015 Eddie Robinson Award
• Eight finalists
named for 2015 Eddie Robinson Award
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award
| All-time winners