Gus Malzahn was named the winner of the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award on Monday, awarded by the Football Writers Association of America (of which yours truly is a voter).
"Certainly, the job Coach Malzahn has done this year warrants this award," said FWAA President Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times. "It is one of the best turnarounds in college football history and to do it in the first year at a school even adds to the accomplishment."
By now, Malzahn's we should all be well-versed in Malzahn's accomplishments. He's orchestrated the greatest one-season turnaround in FBS history, taking a 3-9 team to a 12-1 record and an SEC championship. He is one win away from becoming the first coach in college football history to turn a 3-9 finish into a national championship within one season.
Malzahn is just the third first-year coach to win the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award in its 57-year history, joining Ralph Friedgen (Maryland, 2001) and Tom Cahill (Army, 1966). In addition to winning the SEC Coach of the Year award, this is Malzahn's second national coach of the year honor.
With a win over Florida State in the BCS National Championship, Malzahn would be the first coach to take home a national championship and the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award in the same season since LSU's Nick Saban did the same in 2003.
"This is a huge honor, and I'm very humbled to be named the recipient of the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award," Malzahn said upon hearing the news. "I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Robinson and looked up to him as a coach and as an individual. I accept this award on behalf of our entire coaching staff and players, which have done an outstanding job this year getting our program turned around."
Malzahn beat finalists Art Briles, David Cutcliffe, Mark Dantonio, Jimbo Fisher, George O'Leary, Gary Pinkel and David Shaw for the honor.