UC Football coach Luke Fickell finalist for Eddie Robinson Award

The award’s namesake, the late Eddie Robinson 1980 photo by By Source, Fair use, https en.wikipedia.org
Luke Fickell ready to lead team onto field (courtesy UC Sports Communications)

DALLAS – University of Cincinnati football head coach Luke Fickell was named one of nine finalists for the 2020 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, the Football Writers Association of America, in conjunction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced Monday.

In alphabetical order the finalists are: Tom Allen, Indiana; Brent Brennan, San José State; Matt Campbell, Iowa State; Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina; Karl Dorrell, Colorado; Fickell; Nick Saban, Alabama; Kalani Sitake, BYU; and Dabo Swinney, Clemson.

The 2020 recipient will be announced the week of Jan. 4-8, 2021. The official presentation will be on the campus of the winning coach at a later date. The nine finalists have been placed on a ballot which has been sent to the entire FWAA membership.

“The FWAA believes it has an extremely good group of coaches representing different conferences and independents,” said Executive Director Steve Richardson. “We will have a fine recipient for the 2020 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. The FWAA’s congratulations go out to all coaches for weathering what has been a very trying and unpredictable year.”

The Bearcats (9-0) won their first outright league title since 2009 and their first American Athletic Conference Championship. 

Cincinnati is No. 8 in the final CFP rankings and will play in its first New Year’s Six bowl and its first New Year’s Day bowl since the 2009 season when the Bearcats battle Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. 

UC has one of the nation’s top defenses which ranks in the top 15 in five categories, including second in team interceptions (15) and seventh in scoring defense, giving up only 16 points per game. 

Fickell, the American’s Coach of the Year in his fourth season at UC, has earned Cincinnati’s first finalist nod since 2009 when Brian Kelly, now at Notre Dame, earned the designation. Cincinnati has never had an Eddie Robinson Award winner.

No. 8 UC (9-0) and No. 9 Georgia (7-2) will meet on Jan. 1, 2021 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Kickoff is scheduled at noon ET and the game will air on ESPN and 700 WLW AM. UC will make its first-ever appearance in the College Football Playoff’s New Year’s Six and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. 

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.
The Eddie Robinson Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 96 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 86-year history. The 87th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will double as a College Football Playoff Semifinal, is scheduled to be played on Jan. 1, 2021 between No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Ohio State. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors thousands of student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade. For more information, visit AllstateSugarBowl.org.

The Football Writers Association of America, founded in 1941, consists of 1,300 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 game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com.

For all the latest information on Cincinnati football, please visit GoBEARCATS.com. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Cincinnati football (@GoBearcatsFB) and Coach Fickell (@CoachFick) on Twitter. You can also find the Bearcats on Instagram and Facebook.