It was an epic transformation: Auburn went from 0-8 in the Southeastern Conference and 3-9 overall in 2012 to running over Missouri for the league title and an appearance in the final BCS National Championship Game in 2013. Head coach Gus Malzahn played an enormous role in the revival, and he's getting the hardware to show for it.
The Football Writers Association of America announced Monday that the first-year head coach has been named this year's winner of the Eddie Robinson Award, an honor given annually to the best coach in college football.
"This is a huge honor, and I'm very humbled to be named the recipient of the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award," Malzahn said. "I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Robinson and looked up to him as a coach and as an individual. I accept this award on behalf of our entire coaching staff and players, which have done an outstanding job this year getting our program turned around."
Other finalists for the award were:
Art Briles, Baylor 11-1 (8-1)
David Cutcliffe, Duke 10-3 (6-2)
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State 12-1 (8-0)
Jimbo Fisher, Florida State 13-0 (8-0)
George O'Leary, Central Florida 11-1 (8-0)
Gary Pinkel, Missouri 11-2 (7-1)
David Shaw, Stanford 11-2 (7-2)
Malzahn also won this year's Home Depot Coach of the Year Award and may not be done decorating his trophy shelf yet.