Eight Coaches Selected as Finalists for Eddie Robinson Award
Monday, December 9, 2013
DALLAS (FWAA) – The Football Writers Association of America, in conjunction with the Fiesta Bowl, has announced eight finalists for the 2013 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award whose winner will be revealed on Mon., Dec. 16.
In alphabetical order the finalists are: Art Briles (Baylor), David Cutcliffe (Duke), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), Gus Malzahn (Auburn), George O'Leary (UCF), Gary Pinkel (Missouri) and David Shaw (Stanford).
The national coach of the year finalists have been placed on a ballot to be sent to the entire FWAA membership. Ballots will be accepted from the membership through 6 p.m. ET on Friday.
The official presentation reception will be Sat., Jan. 4, in Newport Beach, Calif., where the winning coach will be given the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.
None of the finalists has captured the FWAA coaching award previously. And, of the schools represented, only Auburn (Terry Bowden), Baylor (Grant Teaff) and Michigan State (Duffy Daugherty) have had a previous FWAA head-coaching award winner.
The 2013 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalists:
Art Briles, Baylor: The Bears (11-1) won their first outright conference title since 1980 in what was the Southwest Conference. This is the Bears' first 11-victory season in school history. Before Briles arrived to coach in Waco six years ago, the Bears had never had a winning record in the Big 12 dating back to the 1996 football season. Briles was a finalist for the award while at Houston in 2006.
David Cutcliffe, Duke: Before the former Ole Miss coach arrived on the Durham campus, Duke football had compiled three winning seasons in a quarter of a century. This season Duke (10-3) has double-digit victories for the first time in school history. The Blue Devils, picked to finish last in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division, won the division before bowing to Florida State in the league's title game.
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State: Dantonio turned the Spartans (12-1) into a Big Ten power that is now headed to the Rose Bowl after defeating Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. Michigan State, one of the best defensive teams in the nation, has lost only at Notre Dame this season. This is Michigan State's first outright Big Ten title since 1987. Dantonio was an Eddie Robinson Award finalist in 2010.
Jimbo Fisher, Florida State: The Seminoles (13-0) have been college football's most dominant team during the 2013 season. They have won 12 games by at least 27 points and have scored at least 37 points in 13 straight games. They will face Auburn in the 2013 BCS Championship Game after winning the ACC championship.
Gus Malzhan, Auburn: Malzahn is only the third coach in Southeastern Conference history to win the league football title in his first season. The Tigers were selected to finish fifth in the SEC West before the season and were 0-8 in league play a year ago. Now, the Tigers (12-1) will battle Florida State for the national championship after beating Missouri in the SEC title game.
George O'Leary, UCF: The Knights (11-1) won the first American Athletic Conference title and qualified to earn a spot in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Going into the bowl season, UCF has won a school record eight straight games. The Knights' only loss this season is to South Carolina. O'Leary has been an Eddie Robinson finalist in 2005 and in 1998 at Georgia Tech.
Gary Pinkel, Missouri: The Tigers proved they belong in the SEC in their second year in the league. After being picked to finish sixth, Missouri claimed the East Division crown before falling to Auburn in the SEC title game. The Tigers (11-2) will go for only their second 12-victory season in history in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. Pinkel also was a finalist in 2007 and in 1997 at Toledo.
David Shaw, Stanford: Stanford (11-2) was in the national championship chatter much of the season and will head to the Rose Bowl – their fourth straight BCS bowl – after crushing Arizona State in the Pac-12 title game. Shaw is a finalist for the second straight season.
The FWAA has honored a major college coach with its coach of the Year award since the 1957 season when Ohio State's Woody Hayes claimed the honor. Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University, has been the FWAA's coaching namesake since the 1997 season. 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 same school.
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.
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The Eddie Robinson Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.