Brian Kelly.

Brian Kelly Named Finalist For 2012 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award

Dec. 3, 2012

DALLAS (FWAA) – The Football Writers Association of America, in conjunction with the Fiesta Bowl, announced Monday that Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was one of nine finalists for the 2012 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, whose winner will be revealed on Thursday, Dec. 13.

Kelly and the Irish (12-0) finished the regular season as the nation’s top-ranked team in all the major polls and will face Alabama in the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7, 2013. He was a finalist for the award in 2009 while at Cincinnati.

The remaining finalists in alphabetical order are: Gary Andersen (Utah State), Dave Doeren (Northern Illinois), Urban Meyer (Ohio State), Will Muschamp (Florida), Bill O’Brien (Penn State), David Shaw (Stanford), Bill Snyder (Kansas State) and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M).

The finalists will be placed on a ballot that was sent to the entire FWAA membership on Dec. 3. Ballots will be accepted from the membership through Dec. 8. FWAA members were asked to vote for their top choices in the order they believe the coaches are deserving of the award.

The official presentation reception will be on Jan. 6, 2013, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where the winning coach will be given the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award during a reception at the media hotel.

The FWAA has honored a major college coach with its coach of the Year award since 1957. Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University, has been the FWAA’s coaching namesake for the past 15 years. The Fiesta Bowl joined with the FWAA a year later as the sponsor of the award.

The late Robinson is the second-winningest coach in Division I history (408), and the move to announce finalists for the award in New York City is a natural. The Grambling Tigers, which Robinson coached from 1941-97, played numerous regular-season games at Yankee Stadium starting in the late 1960s and into the 1970s and later at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

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 or 972-713-6198.

The Eddie Robinson Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official Web site,

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.

— ND —