NEW YORK (December 5, 2017) – The Football Writers Association of America, in conjunction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced eight finalists for the 2017 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award during a National Football Foundation news conference at the New York Hilton Midtown.
In alphabetical order the eight finalists are: Bill Clark, UAB; Scott Frost, UCF; Lane Kiffin, Florida Atlantic; Jeff Monken, Army; Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma; Kirby Smart, Georgia; Dabo Swinney, Clemson; and Jeff Tedford, Fresno State.
“We have an excellent group of finalists who stretch from the East Coast to the West Coast and represent a cross-section of conferences in the Football Bowl Subdivision,” the FWAA’s 2017 President Dave Jones said. “Some of these coaches will be competing for the College Football Playoff national title. Others represent remarkable building of programs and turnarounds.”
There are no previous “Eddie” winners in the group, and Swinney is the only previous finalist for one of college football’s most prestigious coaching awards. The winner will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 14.
“The Allstate Sugar Bowl is proud to have the opportunity to recognize the top college football coaches in the nation while at the same time honoring Louisiana legend Eddie Robinson,” said Stanley Cohn, President of the Sugar Bowl Committee. “We’re looking forward to presenting this prestigious trophy to the winner in Atlanta this January.”
The finalists were placed on a ballot which is being sent out to the entire FWAA membership this morning. Ballots will be accepted from the membership through 5 p.m. CT on Friday, December 8.
The official presentation reception will be on Jan. 6, 2018, in Atlanta where the winning coach will be handed the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year bust during a reception in conjunction with the College Football Playoff National Championship.
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.