PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (SportsNetwork.com) – Alcorn State University head coach Jay Hopson was tabbed along with 20 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award. The award, presented annually by the Sports Network, is handed to the top coach in FCS football.
The announcement was made Tuesday, November 19, by the FCS media outlet. The winner of the Eddie Robinson Award along with the other postseason honors will be announced at the FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation on Dec. 17 in Philadelphia. All 13 FCS conferences have at least one coach on the list.
Under the direction of Hopson, the Braves finished 2013 with a 9-3 record including a 7-2 record in Southwestern Athletic Conference play. In his second season as head coach, Hopson commanded the Braves recording their first winning season since 2006 and nine-win campaign since 1984.
Alcorn State currently ranks second in the SWAC in scoring offense, total offense, total defense, rushing offense and first in pass defense. In FCS, the Braves are fourth in passes intercepted. ALC defeated this year’s 2013 Toyota SWAC Football Championship teams picking up wins against Jackson State and Southern on the road.
Hopson becomes the 13th head coach from the SWAC to become a finalist since 1999. The only SWAC head coach to win the coveted Eddie Robinson Award in the time span was Prairie View A&M’s Henry Frazier in 2009.
A panel of about 160 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will select the Robinson Award winner, which is presented by The Sports Network.
The Eddie Robinson Award is awarded annually to college football’s top head coach in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). The award was established by The Sports Network in 1987 and is voted upon by the division’s sports information directors and selected sports writers. The award is named for Eddie Robinson, the College Football Hall of Fame coach, who retired in 1997 after 56 years at Grambling State University.
Along with the Walter Payton Award and Buck Buchanan Award, it is presented the night before the annual NCAA Division I Football Championship. All three awards are named after SWAC Hall of Famers, former players and coach, of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
SWAC Eddie Robinson Award Finalists
2000: L.C. Cole (Alabama State) / Doug Williams (Grambling State)
2001: Doug Williams (Grambling State)
2002: Anthony Jones (Alabama A&M) / Doug Williams (Grambling State)
2003: Doug Williams (Grambling State) / Charlie Coe (Alabama State)
2004: Charlie Coe (Alabama State)
2005: Melvin Spears (Grambling State)
2006: Maurice Forte (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)
2007: Henry Fraizer (Prairie View A&M) / Rod Broadway (Grabling State)
2008: Henry Fraizer (Prairie View A&M) / Rod Broadway (Grabling State)
2009: Henry Frazier (Prairie View A&M) – Winner
2010: Reggie Barlow (Alabama State)
2011: Anthony Jones (Alabama A&M)
2012: Karl Morgan (Mississippi Valley State) / Monte Coleman (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)