(Editor's note: University of Montana news release)
Two days after delivering Montana its first Big Sky Conference championship since 2009, Stats Perform announced Monday Grizzly head coach Bobby Hauck is one of 20 finalists for the 2023 Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year Award.
Hauck, now the winningest coach in Big Sky Conference History in his 12th season at UM, was also a finalist for the Robinson Award the last time the Grizzlies won a league title during his first tenure at Montana.
Under Hauck, the 2023 Grizzlies put together a 10-1 season to secure the program’s 19th conference title and a No. 2 seed in the FCS playoffs. The Griz were picked to finish sixth by the coaches and third by the media in the preseason polls but went on to earn wins over four ranked opponents and UM’s 74th win over rival Montana State to claim the championship.
Hauck’s Grizzlies secured his 126th all-time win as Grizzly head coach against MSU, putting his UM career record at 126-35 and 74-19 in conference play. His 74 wins in conference games now tie him with former Portland State and Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh for second-most in league history.
He’s a three-time Big Sky Coach of the Year and was named the D1-AA (FCS) Region 5 Coach of the Year in 2006.
Past recipients of the Eddie Robinson Award include Mark Duffner, Erk Russell, Chris Ault, Jim Tressel, Houston Nutt, Andy Talley, Paul Johnson, Joe Glenn, Mike Ayers, Jerry Kill, Jerry Moore, K.C. Keeler, Deion Sanders, John Stiegelmeier and two-time recipients Mickey Matthews, Sean McDonnell and Craig Bohl.
Like the Robinson Award, the winners of the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) and FedEx Ground Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award will be honored at the national awards banquet.
Eddie Robinson Award Finalists
• Mark Ferrante, Villanova (CAA Football)
Team Record: 9-2, 7-1 (tie/first); Notable: Wildcats earned title share and the automatic playoff bid in largest conference in FCS history (15-team CAA)
• Greg Gattuso, UAlbany (CAA Football)
Team Record: 9-3, 7-1 (tie/first); Notable: Great Danes shared CAA championship for first time, improving from 3-8, 2-6 in 2022
• Bobby Hauck, Montana (Big Sky Conference)
Team Record: 10-1, 7-1 (first); Notable: Became Big Sky’s all-time winningest coach while Grizzlies secured first conference title since 2009 and No. 2 playoff seed
• Clay Hendrix, Furman (Southern Conference)
Team Record: 9-2, 7-1 (first); Notable: Led conference champs to No. 2 in-season ranking – the highest by SoCon team in 11 years
• Tre Lamb, Gardner-Webb (Big South-OVC Football Association)
Team Record: 7-4, 5-1 (tie/first); Notable: Runnin’ Bulldogs earned share of title and automatic playoff bid in first-year combo conference
• Tim Murphy, Harvard (Ivy League)
Team Record: 8-2, 5-2 (tie/first); Notable: Added most league wins record to his all-time Ivy mark as Crimson earned share of first title since 2015
• Bob Nielson, South Dakota (Missouri Valley Football Conference)
Team Record: 9-2, 7-1 (second); Notable: Coyotes rebounded from 3-8, 2-6 season in 2022 to finish second in MVFC, earn No. 3 playoff seed
• Trei Oliver, North Carolina Central (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)
Team Record: 9-2, 4-1 (tie/first); Notable: Led Eagles to their highest-ever FCS ranking (Nov. 7) and a playoff bid for the first time
• Tim Rebowe, Nicholls (Southland Conference)
Team Record: 6-4, 7-0 (first); Notable: Colonels improved from 3-8, 3-3 in 2022 to win outright Southland championship
• Danny Rocco, VMI (Southern Conference)
Team Record: 5-6, 4-4 (tie/fifth); Notable: In first season guiding a fourth different FCS program, Rocco led Keydets’ improvement from 1-10, 0-8 in 2022
• Jimmy Rogers, South Dakota State (Missouri Valley Football Conference)
Team Record: 11-0, 8-0 (first); Notable: In Rogers’ first season, defending national champion Jackrabbits gained FCS-high six Top 25 wins and No. 1 seed in playoffs
• Pete Rossomando, Lamar (Southland Conference)
Team Record: 6-5, 5-2 (third); Notable: In Rossomando’s first season, Cardinals had more wins than three previous seasons combined (5-23)
• Jerry Schmitt, Duquesne (Northeast Conference)
Team Record: 7-4, 6-1 (first); Notable: Dukes gained sixth NEC title and third playoff bid under Schmitt since 2011 season
• Larry Scott, Howard (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)
Team Record: 6-5, 4-1 (tie/first); Notable: Bison are Celebration Bowl-bound for the first time after winning MEAC championship
• Willie Simmons, Florida A&M (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
Team Record: 10-1, 8-0 (SWAC East first); Notable: Rattlers are 22-2 in three SWAC seasons, will play in conference championship game for first time
• Todd Stepsis, Drake (Pioneer Football League)
Team Record: 8-3, 8-0 (first); Notable: Bulldogs earned first-ever bid to playoffs after claiming their first PFL title since 2012
• John Troxell, Lafayette (Patriot League)
Team Record: 9-2, 5-1 (tie/first); Notable: Leopards gained share of PL title, automatic bid to playoffs while posting highest win total since 1981
• Scotty Walden, Austin Peay (United Athletic Conference)
Team Record: 9-2, 6-0 (first); Notable: Governors won their final nine games of regular season to secure outright title in a renamed conference
• Todd Whitten, Tarleton (United Athletic Conference)
Team Record: 8-3, 4-2 (tie/second); Notable: Under Whitten, Texans posted fourth straight winning record (and best) in their final Division I reclassifying season
• Chris Wilkerson, Eastern Illinois (Big South-OVC Football Association)
Team Record: 8-3, 4-2 (tie/third); Notable: In Wilkerson’s second season, Panthers improved from 2-9 and gained as many wins as five previous years combined (8-43)