The first year head coach of the Auburn Tigers, Gus Malzahn, is one of the eight finalists for the 2013 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.
The Football Writers Association of America, in conjunction with the Fiesta Bowl, released its list of finalists Monday. It will announce a winner on Dec. 16.
The finalists are (in alphabetical order):
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 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.