Jack Cosgrove of the University of Maine is one of the 21 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award, presented to the top coach in the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division 1-A.
The Sports Network, which sponsors the award, announced the finalists Tuesday. They include at least one coach from all 13 FCS conferences, which include 122 programs nationally.
Voting by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters and writers will reflect only regular-season results.
The winner will be announced Dec. 16 at the network’s FCS awards banquet in Philadelphia, as will those named outstanding player (Walter Payton Award), outstanding defensive player (Buck Buchanan Award) and freshman of the year (Jerry Rice Award).
Predicted to finish eighth in the 11-team Colonial Athletic Association, Maine instead clinched the conference title with a 7-0 record heading into the season finale Saturday at New Hampshire. Overall the Black Bears are 10-1, a record that includes two road games against larger, better-funded Football Bowl Subdivision opponents UMass (a 24-14 victory) and Northwestern (a 35-21 loss).
The only other CAA coach among the finalists is Jimmye Laycock of William & Mary (7-4, 4-3 CAA), currently ranked 19th after a 2-9 season in 2012. Recent Robinson Award winners currently coaching in the CAA are Rob Ambrose of Towson in 2011, Mickey Matthews of James Madison in 2008, Sean McDonnell of New Hampshire in 2005 and Andy Talley of Villanova in 1997.
Cosgrove was also a finalist in 2001, when he led the Black Bears to a 9-3 record and a share of the Atlantic 10 title. Maine also reached the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time.
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:Gjordan@pressherald.comTwitter: GlennJordanPPH