COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
The FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) 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 Eddie Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University for 55 seasons.
At the end of the 1997 season, Robinson retired with a lifetime record of 408–165–15. Robinson’s record of 408 career victories stood until 2003, when it was broken by John Gagliardi, coach of St. John’s of Minnesota.
THIS YEAR’S WINNER…
BILL CLARK, HEAD COACH, UNIVERSITY ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM
Three years ago, UAB didn’t even have a football program, but now they have the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year and a 19-8 record over the past two seasons.
In 2014, Bill Clark was in his first year as Head Coach with the Blazers, going 6-6. Then on December 2, 2014, UAB president Ray L. Watts announced that UAB had decided to close down the football program in order to save money. On June 1, 2015, however, news reported that the UAB Blazers football program would be reinstated. And in September of 2015, Clark and UAB agreed to a five-year contract extension.
This year, Clark guided the 11-3 Blazers to their first 10-win season, first division title, first Conference USA championship and back-to-back bowl trips.
The 2018 Boca Raton Bowl was only the third bowl game in Blazers history and the second consecutive after playing in last year’s Bahamas Bowl. It was the school’s first bowl win!
“Bill Clark has done a yeoman’s job in rebuilding the UAB program from scratch,” said 2018 FWAA President Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times. “The fact the Blazers won the Conference USA title in 2018 is one thing. Considering the circumstances, it goes into the extraordinary category.”
The 2018 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalists included:
- Alabama – Nick Saban
- UAB – Bill Clark
- Fresno State – Jeff Tedford
- Clemson – Dabo Swinney
- Oklahoma – Lincoln Riley
- Army – Jeff Monken
- UCF – Josh Heupel
- Notre Dame – Brian Kelly