North Dakota State's Bohl is 2012 Eddie Robinson Award recipient
Bison coach honored as most outstanding FCS college football head coach
Craig Bohl has led the Bison since their transition to the FCS level in 2003.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Craig Bohl accomplished in the 2011 season
what he sets out to do every year as North Dakota State's head football coach
- win the FCS national championship.
The 2012 season furthered an even bigger picture for the Bison.
North Dakota State didn't let up from 2011 as it was the No. 1-ranked team for
much of the 2012 regular season, winning 10 of its 11 games with the best
defense in the Football Championship Subdivision. That the Bison's national
championship team has developed into a perennial national power is part of the
reason Monday night that Bohl was named the 2012 Eddie Robinson Award for FCS
coach of the year.
A national panel of sports information and media relations directors,
broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries selected the 26th annual award.
Bohl received 42 of the 145 and 364 points. Villanova's Andy Talley, who
presented Bohl with the Robinson Award at the national awards banquet,
finished second, and Eastern Illinois first-year coach Dino Babers was third.
"What has occurred now is you get your best shot from everybody," said the 45-
year-old Bohl, who is in his 10th season as NDSU's head coach. "Every
Saturday, people recognize that you're a program that has won a championship.
"We're fortunate, I think we've got some pretty good athletes within our
program. We're certainly not as experienced this year as what we were last
year. What we've tried to do is just really rely on a lot of the legacy that
the seniors have left before."
North Dakota State has a rich football tradition, with nine national
championships, and Bohl has led the Bison since they first made the transition
from NCAA Division II to the FCS level in 2003. Nine of his 10 teams have had
winning records and four have won at least 10 games.
This year's team has won three playoff games while improving to 13-1 and will try to win a second straight national title on Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas.
Bohl arrived in Fargo, N.D., from the University of Nebraska, where he coached
under the legendary Tom Osborne. He credits the work of his assistant coaches
and how the Bison have utilized the same defensive system over the last 10
years, recruiting to its strength. The Bison allowed only 11.8 points and
195.7 yards per game during the regular season.
"Certainly you're gonna begin to take on likenesses of people who you looked
up to," Bohl said. "Coach Osborne is my mentor. I had an opportunity to play
for him, I was a graduate assistant coach for him and then later on was a
full-time coach. Coach Osborne was very consistent. I thought he had great
qualities as far as never getting too high or too low and operating within
systems and developing a long-term approach as opposed to having the real
emotional roller coaster. I'd like to think that some of his characteristics
have been passed on to me, and I'd like to emulate them.
"We're in hopes that our program is changing from the team that won the
championship year to where you're developing a consistent program."
There were 145 ballots cast in the Eddie Robinson Award voting. The results: