On the heels of one of the most impressive turnarounds in college football, the architect of the 11-1 TCU Horned Frogs has been named the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year. Gary Patterson, who has compiled a 131-45 record in his 14 years as head coach of the Horned Frogs, took home his second national coaching honor this year, as well as his second Eddie Robinson award. Patterson built yet another exceptional defense, guiding senior linebacker and All-American Paul Dawson to conference defensive player of the year honors, the seventh straight season a TCU player has boasted such an honor. He was also lauded for turning the offense over to Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham, who opened up the playbook and led the TCU O, with an assit from Trevone Boykin, to previously unforeseen heights.
The award, named after the legendary coach of the Grambling Tigers, who is Division I's all time winningest coach, is voted on by the Football Writers Association of America annually. Patterson is the fifth person to be named a two time winner. Additionally, it is his fifth time as a finalist, including the two victories. Patterson holds the coaching record at TCU for wins in a career.
Patterson was recognized for taking a team that was picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 to the top of the standings and on the cusp of the College Football Playoffs. TCU, who was 4-8 a year ago, shares a Big 12 Championship with rival Baylor this season, and will close out their 2014 campaign with a Peach Bowl berth against a 9-3 SEC for in Ole Miss.
In winning the award, Patterson beat out Art Briles of Baylor (the FWAA does not do co-award winners), Jimbo Fisher of FSU, former staff member Justin Fuente of Memphis, Brian Harsin of Boise State, Mark Helfrich of Oregon, Nick Saban of Alabama, and Urban Meyer, who's Ohio State team jumped the Frogs in the final standings to secure a playoff berth.
Patterson will accept the award in Dallas on January 10th as part of the College Football National Championship Game festivities.
Congratulations to Coach Patterson and his family.