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.
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.The Fiesta Bowl is committed to fostering a culture of community involvement and giving. Through elite bowl games and related events, we serve as welcoming hosts, create lifelong memories, promote Arizona and enable meaningful contributions to society.