Sixteen finalists were announced on Monday for the Stats Perform FCS Eddie Robinson Award, which is presented to the national coach of the year in college football’s Division I subdivision.

Named for the legendary coach of Grambling State and first presented in 1987, the Robinson Award’s esteemed list of winners include Mark Duffner, Erk Russell, Chris Ault, Jim Tressel, Houston Nutt, Andy Talley, Paul Johnson, Joe Glenn, Mike Ayers, Jerry Kill, Jerry Moore, K.C. Keeler and two-time recipients Mickey Matthews, Sean McDonnell and Craig Bohl.

A 40-member national media panel will select the winner from the unprecedented 2020-21 season, which has spanned the fall and spring semesters. The recipient will be announced on May 4.

Also in the next month, Stats Perform will present the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), Buck Buchanan Award (FCS defensive player of the year), Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year) and Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year.


Scott Abell, Davidson (Pioneer)

Team Record: 4-2, 4-1 (1st)         

Notable: Wildcats earned first conference title since 1969 as well as first FCS playoff bid

Kevin Callahan, Monmouth (Big South)

Team Record: 3-0 (1st)

Notable: Hawks earned second straight outright conference title and third playoff bid in four years

Dave Cecchini, Bucknell (Patriot)

Team Record: 2-2 (1st North Division)

Notable: Bison played in first Patriot League championship game

Curt Cignetti, James Madison (CAA)

Team Record: 5-0, 3-0 (1st South Division)

Notable: Second-year coach improved to 11-0 in conference as Dukes earned No. 3 playoff seed

Bryan Collins, LIU (Northeast)

Team Record: 2-2 (Tie/3rd)

Notable: Sharks earned first two wins as an FCS program after a winless debut in 2019

Landon Fox, Valparaiso (Pioneer)

Team Record: 4-2 (Tie/2nd)

Notable: After Fox’s one-win debut in 2019, Valpo posted best winning percentage since 2003

Charles “Doc” Gamble, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (SWAC)

Team Record: 4-0 (1st West Division)

Notable: First-year coach has led Golden Lions to SWAC championship game for first time since 2012

Jay Hill, Weber State (Big Sky)

Team Record: 5-0 (1st)

Notable: Wildcats won fourth straight conference title and earned fifth straight playoff bid

Dean Hood, Murray State (Ohio Valley)

Team Record: 5-2 (2nd)

Notable: In Hood’s first season, Racers tied 1995 team for the best start (5-0) in program history

K.C. Keeler, Sam Houston (Southland)

Team Record: 6-0 (1st)

Notable: Bearkats captured Southland title by two games before earning No. 2 playoff seed

Connell Maynor, Alabama A&M (SWAC)

Team Record: 4-0, 3-0 (1st East Division)

Notable: Brought Bulldogs back from 35-day layoff to guide first SWAC championship berth since 2011

Rod Milstead, Delaware State (MEAC)

Team Record: 2-3

Notable: Overtime loss to South Carolina State was all that denied a winning season for a much-improved team

Bobby Petrino, Missouri State (Missouri Valley)

Team Record: 5-4, 5-1 (Tie/1st)

Notable: In Petrino’s first season, Bears picked ninth, then earned share of first MVFC title since 1990

Danny Rocco, Delaware (CAA)

Team Record: 5-0, 4-0 (1st North Division)

Notable: Blue Hens matched 2019 win total while earning CAA’s automatic playoff bid

Kyle “Bubba” Schweigert, North Dakota (Missouri Valley)

Team Record: 4-1 (Tie/1st)

Notable: Fighting Hawks earned MVFC title share in first season in the conference as well as a playoff bid

Scott Wachenheim, VMI (Southern)

Team Record: 6-1 (1st)

Notable: Keydets captured first SoCon title since 1977 and program’s first-ever FCS playoff bid