Head coach Art Briles of Big 12 champion Baylor has been named one of eight finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. With a win Saturday over Texas, Briles led Baylor to its first 11-win season in program history and its first Big 12 Championship in football.
The 58-year-old Briles is in his sixth season at Baylor. Before Briles arrived at Baylor in 2008, the Bears had never had a winning record in 13 Big 12 seasons. Baylor has not won a conference championship in football since 1980 as a member of the Southwest Conference.
The seven other finalists for the 2013 Eddie Robinson Award are Daviud Cutcliffe of Duke, Mark Dantonio of Big Ten champion Michigan State, Jimbo Fisher of Florida State, Gus Malzahn of SEC champion Auburn, Geoge O’Leary of the University of Central Florida, Gary Pinkel of Missouri and David Shaw of Stanford. None of the finalists are previous winners of the award.
The award is presented by the Football Writers Association of America in conjunction with the Fiesta Bowl. This is the 57th year for the Award, Bob Stoops of Oklahoma (2000), Mark Mangino, former head coach at Kansas (2007) and Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State (2011), are Big 12 coaches who have previously won the award. The winner will be announced on Jan. 4.
The award is named after the late Eddie Robinson, the longtime head coach at Grambling State, who owns the record for the secon most NCAA Division I football wins with 408.