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
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
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The Eddie Robinson Award is a member of the National
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