PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Eastern Kentucky University football head coach Danny Hope was recently named one of 16 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award. The Robinson Award, named for the legendary former Grambling coach, has been given annually by The Sports Network to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) national coach of the year since 1987.
In his fifth year at Eastern, Hope has finally put this former FCS powerhouse back into prominence with an Ohio Valley Conference championship. The Colonels are 8-2 heading into their regular season finale and have clinched their first playoff berth since 1997. Hope was a starter on the offensive line for the EKU squad that won the 1979 I-AA national championship for legendary coach Roy Kidd and was a captain on the 1980 Colonel team that finished as national runner-up. Hope was the assistant head coach at Louisville before returning to EKU and has an overall coaching record of 34-21.
The other Robinson Award candidates are Pete Adrian of Norfolk State, Craig Bohl of North Dakota State, Rod Broadway of Grambling, Dave Clawson of Richmond, Dave Cohen of Hofstra, Mark Farley of Northern Iowa, Henry Frazier of Prairie View, Chris Hatcher of Georgia Southern, Al Lavan of Delaware State, Pete Lembo of Elon, Tom Masella of Fordham, Jerry Moore of Appalachian State, Jack Siedlecki of Yale, Matt Viator of McNeese State, and Paul Wulff of Eastern Washington.
Moore won the award last year while Lembo earned the honor in 2001 in his first year as coach at Lehigh.
This year’s winner will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Sports Network’s annual awards banquet to be held at the Marriott Hotel in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The winners of the Walter Payton Award and the Buck Buchanan Award, along with the Sports Network Cup, will also be announced. The Payton and Buchanan awards go to the top players in FCS and the Sports Network Cup is handed out to the top Mid-Major team.
EKU (8-2, 7-0 OVC) concludes the regular season tomorrow with a home contest against Tennessee Tech. The Colonels have won three straight over the Golden Eagles in Richmond. Game time is set for 1 p.m.
--The Colonel football team will host a playoff selection show party on Sunday, Nov. 18, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the O’Donnell Auditorium in the Student Services Building on the campus of EKU. The actual NCAA FCS playoff selection show will air on ESPNU on Nov. 18 at 3:30 p.m.