DALLAS (FWAA) – The Football Writers
Association of America, in conjunction with the
Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced nine finalists for the
2019 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award on
Tuesday. Among the finalists are three previous finalists and three
of the four head coaches competing in the College Football Playoff.
alphabetical order the finalists are: Ryan Day,
Ohio State; Eliah Drinkwitz, Appalachian State;
Sonny Dykes, SMU; P.J. Fleck,
Minnesota; Bryan Harsin, Boise State; Mike
Norvell, Memphis; Ed Orgeron, LSU;
Matt Rhule, Baylor; and Dabo Swinney,
This is the third consecutive season for Swinney to be a finalist
and the fifth time overall (also 2015 and '11). Fleck was a finalist
in 2016 at Western Michigan and Harsin was a finalist in 2014 at
Boise State. The 2019 recipient will be announced on Friday, Dec.
"These nine coaches have had outstanding seasons," 2019 FWAA
President Matt Fortuna said. "We could not be happier to present
this award next month in New Orleans, as each individual exemplifies
the values embodied by the award’s namesake, Eddie Robinson."
The official presentation reception will be on Jan. 11, 2020,
in New Orleans where the winning coach will be handed the Eddie
Robinson Coach of the Year bust during a reception hosted by the
Allstate Sugar Bowl in conjunction with the College Football Playoff
"The Allstate Sugar Bowl is proud each year to recognize the
top college football coach in the nation while at the same time
honoring the great accomplishments of a Louisiana legend, Coach
Eddie Robinson," said Monique Morial, the President of the Sugar
Bowl Committee. "And we're excited that this year we will be recognizing
the winner right here in New Orleans as part of the College Football
Playoff National Championship festivities that we’re hosting in
The nine finalists have been placed on a ballot which has been
sent to the entire FWAA membership. Ballots will be accepted through
5 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 13.
The FWAA has presented a coaching award since the 1957 season
when Ohio State's Woody Hayes was named the first recipient. The
FWAA coaching award is named after the late Robinson, a coaching
legend at Grambling State University for 55 seasons.
The 2019 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalists:
Ryan Day, Ohio State: Day was the media's
choice for Big Ten Coach of the Year. The last time Ohio State
had a coach named Big Ten Coach of the Year was 1979, the year Day
was born. The 40-year drought ended last week as the first-year
coach guided Ohio State to a 13-0 season with a Big Ten Championship
win and a berth into the College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes
dominated the Big Ten this season powered by the nation’s No. 1
scoring offense (48.7), No. 5 total offense (531.0), No. 2 total
defense (247.6) and No. 2 (tied) scoring defense (12.5).
Eliah Drinkwitz, Appalachian State: In Drinkwitz's
one season at the helm, Appalachian State (12-1) won its fourth
straight Sun Belt Conference title and made history as the first
12-win Sun Belt team and earned the highest national ranking in
school and conference history. The No. 20 Mountaineers became the
first Sun Belt team to beat two Power Five teams (North Carolina
and South Carolina, both on the road) in the same season. Drinkwitz
has accepted the same position at Missouri.
Sonny Dykes, SMU: In his second year with the
Mustangs, Dykes led SMU to its first 10-win season (10-2) since
1984 and its first perfect home season (6-0) since 1968. The Mustangs
are No. 6 nationally in scoring offense (43.0, currently a school
record), No. 9 in total offense (495.3, currently a school record)
and No. 12 in passing offense (309.3, second all-time at the school),
while the defense set school records with 50 sacks (second nationally,
one behind Ohio State) and 105 tackles for loss (fourth nationally,
8.75 per game).
P.J. Fleck, Minnesota: The Gophers won 10 games
(10-2) in the regular season for the first time since 1905 and won
seven Big Ten games for the first time in school history. Minnesota's
31-26 home win over Penn State was its first against a top five
opponent since 1999 and its first home win against a top five team
since 1977. The Gophers reached as high as No. 7 in the AP poll,
their highest ranking since 1962. Fleck was the coaches'
selection as the Big Ten Coach of the Year, marking the third
time in the last seven seasons, Fleck has earned a conference
coach of the year nod.
Bryan Harsin, Boise State: Harsin has led the
Broncos to a 12-1 record and a second conference title in three
seasons following a 31-10 win over Hawaii in the Mountain West Championship
Game. The 12 wins are the most in a season for Boise State since
Harsin's first season in 2014 and the Broncos went a perfect 8-0
in Mountain West play for the first time since joining the conference
in 2011. Boise State reached as high as No. 19 in the CFP rankings.
Mike Norvell, Memphis: Norvell has Memphis headed
to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl as the Group of 5 representative after
the Tigers (12-1) captured their first outright conference championship
in 50 years. Memphis is No. 17 in the final CFP rankings following
a regular season that saw the Tigers in the top 10 in scoring offense
(No. 8, 40.5) and post 87 plays gaining 20-plus yards (tied for
6th nationally). Norvell has accepted the same position at Florida State.
Ed Orgeron, LSU: Orgeron has the Tigers at 13-0
for just the second time in school history and taking their SEC
Championship into their first College Football Playoff game as the
top-ranked team to face No. 4 Oklahoma in the Chick-fil-A Peach
Bowl. LSU defeated five top-10 teams in the regular season – Texas,
Florida, Auburn, Alabama and then Georgia last week in the SEC Championship
Game – behind the play of record-setting quarterback Joe Burrow,
and is only the second team (Notre Dame, 1943) to do that prior
to its bowl game. The Tigers have won 14 straight dating back to
last year's Fiesta Bowl and have scored in 49 of 52 quarters this
Matt Rhule, Baylor: The Bears (11-2) reached
their first Big 12 Championship Game before falling to CFP No. 4-ranked
Oklahoma and will play in the 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowl against Georgia.
Defense guided Baylor's fortunes as the Bears forced at least two
takeaways in nine of their 13 games, including 16 interceptions
in their last 10 games and at least one takeaway in their last 15
overall. The Bears have a school-record 43.0 sacks through 13 games
after totaling only 25 in 2018. Baylor was 1-11 two years ago and
7-6 last season.
Dabo Swinney, Clemson: The Tigers became the
first school to win five straight conference championship games
last week with a 62-17 dismantling of Virginia in the ACC Championship
Game, Clemson's sixth under Swinney and 19th ACC title overall.
Clemson is near the top of every major statistical category, leading
the country in total defense (244.7) and scoring defense (10.6)
while also posting the No. 3 total offense (547.7) and No. 4 scoring
offense (46.5). The Tigers held eight of 13 opponents to 10 points
or less while scoring 40 or more points 10 times and 50-plus seven
The Eddie Robinson Award is a member of the National
College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses
college football's most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the
NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to
1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself
as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted
28 national champions, 93 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame
coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 85-year history. The
86th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, featuring the Baylor
Bears from the Big 12 and the Georgia Bulldogs from the SEC, will
be played on January 1, 2020. In addition to football, the Sugar
Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community
through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, scholarships
and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and
honors nearly 100,000 student-athletes each year and has injected
over $2.5 billion into the local economy over the last decade. For
more information, visit AllstateSugarBowl.org.
The Football Writers Association of America, founded in 1941,
consists of 1,300 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.
Eddie Robinson Award
• LSU's Orgeron wins 2019 Eddie Robinson Award
• Nine finalists named for 2019 Eddie Robinson Award
• Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award
| All-time winners