The Sugar Bowl will be the host for the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year reception and help with other facets of the award which last season was claimed by Auburn Coach Guz Malzahn.
"The Sugar Bowl Committee is proud to join the FWAA in honoring the country's top collegiate coach and at the same time recognizing Louisiana's own, Eddie Robinson, one of the greatest coaches of all time and a member of our own Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame," said Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan. "We certainly appreciate the work of the FWAA and are excited about this partnership."
The winner of the 2014 FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award will be announced on Dec. 15 and later presented the bust of Coach Robinson on Jan. 10, 2015, at a reception in Dallas in conjunction with the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
"The Eddie Robinson family is excited to be affiliated with the Allstate Sugar Bowl held in New Orleans and anticipates a flourishing relationship with them sponsoring the Eddie Robinson (FWAA) Coach of the Year Award for many years to come," said Eddie Robinson III, grandson of the legendary coach.
The FWAA has presented its Coach of the Year Award since 1957. Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University, has been the award's namesake since 1997.
"It is our distinct pleasure to announce that the Sugar Bowl will serve as the sponsor for the annual Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award that is selected by the Football Writers Association of America," said 2014 FWAA President Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman.
"This is a truly wonderful award that our association has given to the elite coaches of the game since 1957," Bohls added. "It is so fitting that the Sugar Bowl helps us honor the winningest coach in Division I (408 games) because he was born in Jackson, Louisiana and coached for 56 years at Grambling State, located in the same state as the Sugar Bowl. Eddie Robinson helped set the standard for coaching his entire career and brought dignity and respect to his profession."
In 1975, with one of his greatest teams quarterbacked by eventual All-Pro Doug Williams, Robinson's Grambling State team and Alcorn State became the first college teams to play a game in the Superdome, the venue where the Sugar Bowl is played annually. For many years, Coach Robinson's teams played Southern University in the Bayou Classic at the New Orleans dome.
Robinson, who passed away on April 3, 2007, won 70.7 percent of his games during his illustrious career.
Robinson's teams won or tied for 17 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships after joining the league in 1959. His Tigers claimed nine Black College Football Championships during his career spent all at the same school.
Robinson was named by the FWAA in 1966 as "The Coach Who Made the Biggest Contribution to College Football in the Past 25 Years." He took his teamsoften on the road to places such as the Superdome, the Cotton Bowl, the Astrodome, Tiger Stadium and Yankee Stadium. And with his star-studded array of players, Robinson helped integrate professional football.
In 1949, Grambling standout Tank Younger was the first player from a Historically Black College to sign with an NFL Team (Los Angeles Rams). By 1963, Buck Buchanan became the first player from a Historically Black College to be selected first overall in a professional draft (American Football League by the Kansas City Chiefs). Over the years, Robinson produced a Who's Who of professional football players, with more than 200 of his former players dotting professional rosters.
A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Robinson has the keys to cities all over the planet, has been awarded in every form and fashion and has honorary degrees from many schools. The Eddie Robinson Museum is now open in his honor in Grambling, where numerous memorabilia reside, including his bust for the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. In addition, the Coach Eddie Robinson bust will be displayed at the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 23 national champions, 86 Hall of Fame players, 46 Hall of Fame coaches and 15 Heisman Trophy winners in its 80-year history. The 81st Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic on January 1, 2015, will be an integral part of a new era in college football as it will be one of the first playoff semifinal games in the College Football Playoff which begins with the 2014 season. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee is involved with various community initiatives through hosting and sponsorships of sporting events, awards and clinics. For more information, visit allstatesugarbowl.org.