DALLAS (FWAA) – Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer has been selected as the 2023 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year after leading the Huskies to the College Football Playoff, the most wins in program history, and the Pac-12 Championship. Washington has posted a perfect 13-0 record this year and owns the nation’s longest active win streak at 20 games. The Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award is presented by the Football Writers Association of America and the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

DeBoer is the second coach from Washington to win the Eddie Robinson Award and the first in more than 30 years. Don James won it in 1991 in Washington’s national championship season. Chris Petersen was a finalist in 2016. The Huskies’ 13 wins are the most in school history and DeBoer is just the third Pac-12 coach to win 13 games in a season, joining Oregon’s Mark Helfrich in 2014 and USC’s Pete Carroll in 2004 (two wins were later vacated).

DeBoer was chosen from a finalist field of David Braun from Northwestern; Jamey Chadwell of Liberty; Eliah Drinkwitz of Missouri; Jedd Fisch of Arizona; Rhett Lashlee of SMU; Chuck Martin of Miami (Ohio); Mike Norvell of Florida State; Barry Odom of UNLV; Nick Saban of Alabama; Steve Sarkisian of Texas; and Jon Sumrall of Troy. Six of those coaches won conference championships, as did DeBoer.

No. 2 Washington (13-0) faces No. 3 Texas (12-1) in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2024, in a College Football Playoff Semifinal. The game marks the first time for the Eddie Robinson Award winner to play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl since it began sponsoring the award in 2014, which coincided with the start of the College Football Playoff.

DeBoer will receive the iconic bust of the late Robinson, a College Football Hall of Fame coach at Grambling State University for 55 years and winner of 408 career games, at a Jan. 6, 2024, reception in Houston leading up to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

“The Sugar Bowl Committee is proud to congratulate Coach DeBoer on such an outstanding season,” said Jeff Hundley, CEO of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. “What he’s accomplished in short order at Washington, including this year’s undefeated season, demands to be recognized. All of us at the Sugar Bowl are looking forward to seeing the Huskies here in New Orleans and to the privilege of presenting Kalen with the Eddie Robinson Award at the National Championship in Houston.”

Washington’s perfect 9-0 conference record makes DeBoer only the second Pac-12 coach to reach that number, matching Chip Kelly, then at Oregon, in 2010. Helfrich and Petersen are the only other Pac-12 coaches to take their teams to the College Football Playoff. Washington sealed its second all-time spot in the playoff with a 34-31 win over Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game, its second win over Oregon this season.

The 49-year-old DeBoer is the first Washington coach to win 11 or more games in consecutive seasons and is now 24-2 in his two seasons at the school and 36-8 overall in four seasons as a Division I head coach, including a 12-6 record in two seasons at Fresno State. Overall, though, DeBoer boasts a 103-11 record as a college head coach. In five seasons at Sioux Falls, his alma mater, from 2005-09, he was a remarkable 67-3 with three NAIA national titles and three national coach of the year awards. One of those losses came in the NAIA title game and another in a national semifinal.

“Although there were 12 finalists in a tough field for the award, coach Kalen DeBoer and the Washington Huskies’ football program just had such an astonishing season in the Pac-12. We congratulate Coach DeBoer on being named for the 2023 “Eddie!,” said Eddie Robinson III, Coach Robinson’s grandson.

This season DeBoer earned the Pac-12’s Coach of the Year Award for a second year in a row after sharing it with then-Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith last year. He’s the first Pac-12 coach to be honored in back-to-back seasons since David Shaw in 2011-12. Don James also earned it in back-to-back seasons in 1990 (shared) and 1991, matching DeBoer as the only Washington coach to earn the conference award.

Picked to finish second in the Pac-12 behind USC leading into the season, it was a 52-42 road win over the Trojans that saw the Huskies leap to national prominence and playoff positioning. Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. ascended into prime Heisman Trophy contention as the Huskies followed their USC win with an impressive string of victories during a schedule gauntlet to close the regular season. The Huskies won 35-28 over two-time defending Pac-12 champion Utah, then took a 22-20 win at pesky Oregon State and later a gritty 24-21 win over Washington State in the Apple Cup before the second win over Oregon in the conference title game.

Washington is the only school with multiple wins over schools currently ranked in the top eight and is 5-0 against teams that were ranked in the AP Top 25 at the time of the game. The Huskies have excelled in close games, with their last nine games decided by 10 points or fewer. The Huskies have not trailed by eight or more points at any point this season, one of three schools to boast that feat (Liberty, Michigan).

“Washington coach Kalen DeBoer is a perfect 13-0 so far this season, winning the last Pac-12 football title,” said FWAA 2023 President Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports. “DeBoer already has surpassed former Washington Coach Don James’ victory (12-0) total during the 1991 season when James was the FWAA Coach of the Year and the Huskies claimed the national championship. Win or lose the rest of the season, this has truly been a year befitting the recipient of the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year bust.”

The FWAA has presented a coaching award since the 1957 season when Ohio State’s Woody Hayes was named the first recipient. Beginning in 1997, the FWAA Coach of the Year Award has been named in honor of the late Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University for 55 seasons.

Robinson, who passed away in 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 teams won nine Black College Football Championships during his career, all of it at Grambling.

The Eddie Robinson Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes college football’s most prestigious awards and its 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients dating back to 1935. For more information about the NCFAA and its award programs, visit the redesigned NCFAA.org.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 103 Hall of Fame players, 52 Hall of Fame coaches and 21 Heisman Trophy winners in its 89-year history. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards, scholarships and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors thousands of student-athletes each year, while injecting nearly $2.4 billion into the local economy in the last decade. For more information, visit allstatesugarbowl.org

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com.

1957: Woody Hayes, Ohio State
1958: Paul Dietzel, LSU
1959: Ben Schwartzwalder, Syracuse
1960: Murray Warmath, Minnesota
1961: Darrell Royal, Texas
1962: John McKay, USC
1963: Darrell Royal, Texas
1964: Ara Parseghian, Notre Dame
1965: Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State
1966: Tom Cahill, Army
1967: John Pont, Indiana
1968: Woody Hayes, Ohio State
1969: Bo Schembechler, Michigan
1970: Alex Agase, Northwestern
1971: Bob Devaney, Nebraska
1972: John McKay, USC
1973: Johnny Majors, Pitt
1974: Grant Teaff, Baylor
1975: Woody Hayes, Ohio State
1976: Johnny Majors, Pitt
1977: Lou Holtz, Arkansas
1978: Joe Paterno, Penn State
1979: Earle Bruce, Ohio State
1980: Vince Dooley, Georgia
1981: Danny Ford, Clemson
1982: Joe Paterno, Penn State
1983: Howard Schnellenberger, Miami
1984: LaVell Edwards, BYU
1985: Fisher DeBerry, Air Force
1986: Joe Paterno, Penn State
1987: Dick MacPherson, Syracuse
1988: Lou Holtz, Notre Dame
1989: Bill McCartney, Colorado
1990: Bobby Ross, Georgia Tech
1991: Don James, Washington
1992: Gene Stallings, Alabama
1993: Terry Bowden, Auburn
1994: Rich Brooks, Oregon
1995: Gary Barnett, Northwestern
1996: Bruce Snyder, Arizona State

1997: Mike Price, Washington State
1998: Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee
1999: Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
2000: Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
2001: Ralph Friedgen, Maryland
2002: Jim Tressel, Ohio State
2003: Nick Saban, LSU
2004: Urban Meyer, Utah
2005: Charlie Weis, Notre Dame
2006: Greg Schiano, Rutgers
2007: Mark Mangino, Kansas
2008: Nick Saban, Alabama
2009: Gary Patterson, TCU
2010: Chip Kelly, Oregon
2011: Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
2012: Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
2013: Gus Malzahn, Auburn
2014: Gary Patterson, TCU
2015: Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
2016: Mike MacIntyre, Colorado
2017: Scott Frost, UCF
2018: Bill Clark, UAB
2019: Ed Orgeron, LSU
2020: Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina
2021: Luke Fickell, Cincinnati
2022: Sonny Dykes, TCU
2023: Kalen DeBoer, Washington

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