Football Writers Association of America Dec. 9, 2009
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
Winner to be announced Jan. 5, 2010 Bookmark and Share

DALLAS (FWAA) The Football Writers Association of America has announced seven finalists for the 2009 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award to be voted upon by the entire membership. The list features coaches from five undefeated teams as well as last season's recipient.

With the 2009 regular season completed, the FWAA, in conjunction with the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, has tabbed the following coaches as finalists: Texas' Mack Brown, Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson, Cincinnati's Brian Kelly, Oregon's Chip Kelly, TCU's Gary Patterson, Boise State's Chris Petersen and Alabama's Nick Saban.

The finalists will be placed on a ballot which will be distributed electronically to the entire FWAA membership.

The FWAA coaching award is named after the late Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University for 55 years. He has more Division I victories (408) than any other coach in the history of college football.

The winner of the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award will be announced and honored at a reception on Jan. 5 in Newport Beach, Calif., in conjunction with the Citi BCS National Championship Game.

Texas' Brown has the Longhorns in a national title game for the second time in five seasons. Texas defeated Nebraska, 13-12, in the Big 12 title game in Dallas to extend its record to 13-0. Only Alabama on Jan. 7 stands between Texas and a fourth national championship.

Georgia Tech's Johnson took the Yellow Jackets to the ACC title with a victory over Clemson in the conference title game. At 11-2, Georgia Tech will meet Iowa in the Orange Bowl and seek to dominate with its grinding spread option offense.

Brian Kelly's Cincinnati Bearcats claimed the Big East Conference title with a 12-0 record. They defeated Pittsburgh by a point in dramatic fashion in the regular-season finale to wrap up the title and gain a berth in the Sugar Bowl opposite Florida.

Oregon's first-year head coach Chip Kelly has the Ducks (10-2) in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1995. From an season-opening loss to Boise State - after which he had to suspend one of his star players for throwing a punch - Kelly has done a masterful job of holding the season together and winning the Pac-10 title.

Patterson led TCU to its first unbeaten regular season (12-0) since the 1938 Horned Frogs won the national championship. TCU, the Mountain West Conference champion, will be going to a BCS bowl for the first time this season and is currently riding a 14-game winning streak.

Petersen keeps doing it at Boise State with another WAC title. This season the Broncos are 13-0 and headed to another BCS game, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against TCU. The Broncos will be seeking another victory in the BCS after a memorable win over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

Saban has directed the top-ranked Crimson Tide to the Citi BCS National Championship Game with a perfect 13-0 record. Alabama defeated Florida in the SEC title game in Atlanta to cap its perfect regular season.

Of the finalists, only Saban has previously won the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. He won last season as the Alabama head coach and also in 2003 when he was the head coach at LSU.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,100 men and women across North America 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, a national poll and its annual All-America team.

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,

For more information on the Eddie Robinson Award and the FWAA, contact FWAA executive director Steve Richardson (972-713-6198 or

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