Chizik named Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalist

Auburn Coach Gene Chizik
Auburn Coach Gene Chizik

AUBURN – Auburn head coach Gene Chizik has been named as one of eight finalists for the 2010 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, the Football Writers Association of America in conjunction with the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl has announced. The winner will be revealed on Dec. 6 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

Joining Chizik as finalists for the award are Wisconsin's Bret Bielema, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy, Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, Oregon's Chip Kelly, TCU's Gary Patterson and Boise State's Chris Petersen.

In his second season at Auburn, Chizik has guided Auburn to an 11-0 record and a No. 2 ranking in the national polls. The Tigers have already clinched a spot in the SEC Championship game where they will play South Carolina on Dec. 4.

It marks just the third time Auburn has won its first 11 games in a season (2004, 1993). The Tigers have won 12 consecutive games dating back to last season's victory over Northwestern in the Outback Bowl, which is the fifth-longest winning streak in school history.

Chizik now owns a 19-5 record since taking over as head coach at Auburn prior to the 2009 season. It marks the second-most wins in his first 24 games as head coach at Auburn by any coach in school history.

The finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award were placed on a ballot to be voted on by the entire 1,200-plus FWAA membership. Ballots will be accepted until midnight after games of Sat., Nov. 27.

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 FWAA has presented a national coach of the year award since 1957 and named the award in Robinson's honor in 1997.