NEW YORK (FWAA) – The Football Writers Association of America,
in conjunction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl, has announced five
finalists for the 2016 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. The
winner of the award will be revealed on Dec. 15.
In alphabetical order, the finalists are: Western Michigan’s
Fleck, Penn State’s James Franklin, Colorado’s
Mike MacIntyre, Washington’s
Chris Petersen and Alabama’s Nick Saban.
“This is an especially strong field of candidates,” said FWAA
President Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Each one
of these coaches could win the award and probably would in most
other seasons. They all set the bar extraordinarily high, and whoever
does win Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year will further honor the
great man for whom we present this award.”
The only previous winner in the group is Saban, who has his team
poised for a fifth national title in eight years. He claimed the
FWAA Coach of the Year Award previously in 2008 (at Alabama) and
in 2003 (at LSU), when the Tigers claimed a piece of the national
title. Petersen has been a four-time finalist while at Boise State
in 2006 and ‘08, ‘09 and ‘10.
The finalists have been placed on a ballot, which has been sent
to the entire FWAA membership. Ballots will be accepted through
Friday at 5 p.m. ET.
The official presentation reception will be on Jan. 7, 2017,
in Tampa, where the winning coach will be handed the FWAA/Eddie
Robinson Coach of the Year bust during a reception in conjunction
with the College Football Playoff National Championship.
The FWAA has presented a coaching award since the 1957 season
when Ohio State’s Woody Hayes was named the first recipient. The
award is named for the late Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling
State University for 55 seasons.
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 won nine Black College
Football Championships during his career spent all at the same school.
The 2016 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalists:
P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan: The former NFL player and assistant
coach has taken the Broncos (13-0) to their first unbeaten regular
season in school history and back-to-back-to-back bowl appearances
for the first time. The Broncos have scored a school record number
of points (566) this season and were the last team in the country
to commit a turnover. The Mid-American Conference champions are
headed to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl to face Wisconsin.
James Franklin, Penn State: After a 2-2 start, the Nittany Lions
won nine straight games to win the Big Ten Conference in Franklin’s
third season in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions rallied from a 21-point
deficit to beat Wisconsin, 38-31, in the Big Ten title game. During
the nine-game winning streak, Penn State was the only team to beat
College Football Playoff-bound Ohio State. Franklin will take Penn
State to the Rose Bowl Game to play USC.
Mike MacIntyre, Colorado: The Buffaloes had won only two of their
previous 27 Pac-12 Conference games prior to this season, when they
won eight league games to claim the South Division title. The Buffaloes
were picked to finish last in the South, but won ten games for the
first time since 2001. The son of former college head coach George
MacIntyre has authored perhaps the best turnaround story in college
football this season.
Chris Petersen, Washington: After 8-6 and 7-6 seasons which produced
minor bowl trips for the Huskies, Petersen’s team has made a breakthrough
nationally, earning a spot in the College Football Playoff with
a 12-1 record. Still one of the younger teams in the Pac-12, the
Huskies defeated Colorado, 41-10, in the Pac-12 title game to win
their first league title since 2000. The Huskies, whose lone loss
was to Rose Bowl-bound USC, face Alabama in a College Football Playoff
Nick Saban, Alabama: He has put together a continuing dynasty
in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where the Crimson Tide is vying for its fifth
national title in eight years. Alabama is currently riding a 25-game
winning streak, the longest in the FBS. The nation’s top-ranked
team team dominated the SEC with an unbeaten record (13-0) led by
one of the nation’s best defenses. Alabama begins its quest to repeat
as national champions in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl vs. Washington.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the
premier college football bowl games, having hosted 27 national champions,
88 Hall of Fame players, 47 Hall of Fame coaches and 17 Heisman
Trophy winners in its 82-year history. The 83rd Allstate Sugar Bowl
Football Classic, featuring teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, will
be played on January 2, 2017. In addition to football, the Sugar
Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.3 million into the community
through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and
clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors
over 25,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.5
billion into the local economy in the last decade. For more information,
The Football Writers Association of America, founded in 1941,
consists of 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.
The Eddie Robinson Award is a member of the National College
Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which 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
• Colorado's MacIntyre wins 2016 Eddie Robinson Award
• Five finalists named for 2016 Eddie Robinson Award
• Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award
| All-time winners