Eddie Robinson Award
[For the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Eddie Robinson Award recognizing Louisiana athletes, coaches and administrators, please follow this link, Eddie Robinson Award – Louisiana]
The Allstate Sugar Bowl became the presenting sponsor for the Football Writers Association of America’s Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award in the summer of 2014. The Sugar Bowl hosts the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year reception, which is held at the site of the College Football Playoff National Championship each January, and helps with other facets of the award. The Eddie Robinson Award is presented annually the top head coach in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision.
- 2016: Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre Recognized as Nation’s Top Coach
- 2015: Kirk Ferentz from Iowa Named the 2015 Robinson Award Winner
- 2014: TCU’s Patterson Wins 2014 Robinson Award
“The Sugar Bowl Committee is proud to join the FWAA in honoring the country’s top collegiate coach and at the same time recognizing Louisiana’s own, Eddie Robinson, one of the greatest coaches of all time and a member of our own Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame,” said Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan. “We certainly appreciate the work of the FWAA and are excited about this partnership.”
Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre, whose Buffaloes claimed the Pac-12 South Division title and completed one of the best turnarounds in college football this season, was named the 60th annual FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year in 2016.
“I’m honored and privileged to be the recipient of the Eddie Robinson Award,” MacIntyre said. “It is a testament to our players and coaches for all their hard work and dedication. Eddie Robinson was a trailblazer in our industry and was a man that was really respected throughout the college coaching world and is still highly regarded to this day.”
The FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award was presented at a reception in Tampa in conjunction with the College Football Playoff National Championship. MacIntyre is the second Colorado coach to win the award after Bill McCartney in 1989.
MacIntrye, 51, fashioned an FBS-best six-game turnaround (tied with Central Florida) after a 4-9 record in 2015. The Buffaloes (10-3) did it behind a stellar defense that has allowed just 20.2 points per game. Colorado, which was picked to finish last in its division before the season, will make its first bowl appearance since 2007 in the Valero Alamo Bowl vs. Oklahoma State on Dec. 29 in San Antonio. MacIntyre is just the second Pac-12 coach to win the award since 1997. Oregon’s Chip Kelly earned the honor in the 2010 season.
“The Sugar Bowl Committee is pleased to recognize Coach MacIntyre for the outstanding job he did with Colorado this year,” said Chuck Lapeyre, President of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. “After leading the Buffaloes to their first divisional championship since 2005 and their first 10-win season since 2001, there is little question he is very deserving of this honor. All of us here look forward to joining the Football Writers in honoring Coach MacIntyre next month in Tampa.”
“Congrats to Coach Mike MacIntyre and the Colorado University Buffaloes football program on his winning the ‘Eddie’ this year,” said Eddie Robinson III. “Coach MacIntyre represents all that this award stands for.”
“Simply put, Coach MacIntyre is one of the best stories in college football,” said 2016 FWAA President Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Enough can’t be said about taking a moribund program and turning it into a big winner. Colorado had patience to let him do the job. CU’s 2016 season bore the fruits of strong rebuilding job in Boulder.”
Previously, MacIntyre, now in his fourth season with the Buffaloes, was head coach at San Jose State, where he turned around that program before heading to Colorado. The son of former Vanderbilt head coach, the late George MacIntyre, Mike MacIntyre has a coaching resume dotted with several assistant coaching stops, including the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets in the NFL.
“I had the opportunity to get to know Eddie Robinson through my dad when he was the head coach at Grambling,” MacIntyre said. “He was really just a distinguished man that I enjoyed being around. He had unbelievable teams and a lot of great players and invested in a lot of young men’s lives. Again, thank you to the Football Writers Association of America and the Allstate Sugar Bowl for selecting the University of Colorado and me being able to accept this honor on behalf of our team, our coaches and our fans.”
The entire FWAA membership had the opportunity to vote on the Coach of the Year Award, which was narrowed to five finalists earlier this month. The other finalists were Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck, Penn State’s James Franklin, Washington’s Chris Petersen and Alabama’s Nick Saban.
The FWAA has honored a major-college coach with its Coach of the Year Award since 1957 when Ohio State’s Woody Hayes won the inaugural honor. Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University, has been the FWAA’s coaching namesake since 1997.
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.
Robinson, who was named by the FWAA in 1966 as “The Coach Who Made the Biggest Contribution to College Football in the Past 25 Years,” took his show often on the road to places such as the Louisiana Superdome, the Cotton Bowl, the Astrodome, Tiger Stadium and Yankee Stadium. And with his star-studded array of players, Robinson helped integrate professional football.
In 1949, Grambling standout Tank Younger was the first player from a Historically Black College to sign with an NFL Team (Los Angeles Rams). By 1963, Buck Buchanan became the first player from a Historically Black College to be selected first overall in the professional draft (American Football League by the Kansas City Chiefs). Over the years, Robinson produced a Who’s Who of professional football players, with more than 200 of his former players dotting professional rosters.
In 1975, with one of his greatest teams quarterbacked by eventual All-Pro Doug Williams, Robinson’s Grambling team and Alcorn State became the first college teams to play a game in the Louisiana Superdome. The next season, Robinson’s Tigers, along with Morgan State, became the first American college football teams to play in Japan.
A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Robinson has the keys to cities all over the planet, has been awarded in every form and fashion and has honorary degrees from many schools. His bust is one of two coaching awards that are displayed in the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
The Eddie Robinson Museum is open in his honor in Grambling, La., where numerous memorabilia reside, including another bust of the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,400 men and women who cover college football. 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.