Versatile field on Eddie Robinson Award ballot

By Craig Haley, FCS Executive Director

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - All Football Championship Subdivision conferences are represented among the 20 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award, which honors the national coach of the year and is sponsored by

The Robinson Award, in its 24th year, will be presented at the national awards banquet on Thursday, Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas - the night before the national championship game.

A panel of nearly 175 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will select the Robinson Award winner.

The 20 candidates are:

Rob Ash, Montana State. No. 6 Bobcats shared the Big Sky Conference title and finished 9-2.

Mike Ayers, Wofford. After a 3-8 season in 2009, No. 7 Terriers finished 9-2 and shared the Southern Conference title.

Al Bagnoli, Penn. No. 14 Quakers went 9-1 and swept through the Ivy League for a second straight season.

Beau Baldwin, Eastern Washington. Led the Eagles to a 9-2 record, a share of the Big Sky title and a No. 1 ranking to end the regular season.

Reggie Barlow, Alabama State. After four straight losing seasons, the Hornets earned a spot in the SWAC Championship Game with a 7-3 record.

Kerwin Bell, Jacksonville. Guided the No. 18 Dolphins to a 10-1 season and a share of the Pioneer Football League title.

Rick Chamberlin, Dayton. Guided the No. 23 Flyers to a 10-1 season and a share of the Pioneer Football League title.

Andy Coen, Lehigh. Turned a 4-7 squad in 2009 into a 9-2, Patriot League champion ranked No. 19.

Jack Crowe, Jacksonville State. Led the No. 8 Gamecocks to a 9-2 record with a road win over Ole Miss of the FBS.

J.C. Harper, Stephen F. Austin. No. 3 Lumberjacks finished 9-2 and captured a second straight Southland Conference title.

Mark Hendrickson, Western Illinois. After a 1-10 record in 2009, Hendrickson got the full-time job and led the No. 21 Leathernecks to a 7-4 season.

Brian Jenkins, Bethune-Cookman. Led the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tri- champion to a 10-1 record and the No. 13 ranking.

K.C. Keeler, Delaware. Directed the No. 5 Blue Hens to a 9-2 record and a share of the CAA Football title.

Ed Lamb, Southern Utah. His Thunderbirds swept their way to their first Great West Conference title and finished 6-5.

Jimmye Laycock, William & Mary. No. 4 Tribe finished 8-3, shared the CAA title, was top-ranked for a week and beat four ranked teams, including No. 1 and 2.

Trent Miles, Indiana State. The Sycamores finished 6-5 after entering the season with only two wins in their prior 62 games.

Jerry Moore, Appalachian State. No. 2 Mountaineers gained a share of its sixth straight Southern Conference title, finished 9-2 and earned the No. 1 FCS playoff seed.

Danny Rocco, Liberty. No. 17 Flames shared their fourth straight Big South Conference title and finished 8-3.

Tony Samuel, Southeast Missouri State. Guided the No. 9 Redhawks to the Ohio Valley Conference title and a seven-game improvement from 2009 to 9-2.

Joe Walton, Robert Morris. Veteran coach delivered a 8-2 season and the Northeast Conference?s first-ever playoff berth.

The Sports Network also presents the Walter Payton and Buck Buchanan awards which are sponsored by The Payton Award honors the FCS' outstanding player and the Buchanan Award honors the FCS' outstanding defensive player. Those two awards, like the Robinson, will be presented at the national awards banquet.

Sacks or scores, contact Craig Haley at

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