STILLWATER — Oklahoma State has accomplished a series of historical feats under Mike Gundy in 2011.
First outright conference title. First trip to a BCS bowl game.
And Thursday, Gundy became the first OSU recipient of the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, as voted on by the Football Writers Association of America.
“What an honor to be recognized with the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award,” Gundy said in a release. “We've had a tremendous year at Oklahoma State, winning the Big 12 and earning our first-ever trip to a BCS bowl. It's a testament to our players and our coaching staff that we are in the position that we are in. I want to thank the Football Writers Association of America for recognizing our team in this way.”
Gundy, who will be presented with the award at a reception on Jan. 8 in New Orleans, beat out Michigan’s Brady Hoke, LSU’s Les Miles, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney for the honor.
OSU started the season 10-0 and climbed as high as No. 2 in the BCS standings before its double-overtime loss to Iowa State on Nov. 18. The Cowboys just missed out on playing for the national title, finishing less than nine thousandths of a point behind No. 2 Alabama in the final BCS rankings. OSU’s 11 wins in 2011 ties the school record set last year, and the Cowboys can capture a program-best 12th victory against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.
“Coach Gundy is a very worthy winner of the Eddie Robinson Award this season," said Tommy Hicks, 2011 FWAA president. “The Cowboys were one of college football's most exciting offensive teams and came within an overtime loss of making the national title game. Oklahoma State has risen to national prominence under Coach Gundy.”
OSU has reached unprecedented heights during Gundy’s seven seasons has the head coach in Stillwater, as he has compiled a 58-30 record and taken the Cowboys to six consecutive bowl games.
Gundy was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson award last season, when Oregon’s Chip Kelly took home the honor.
The Eddie Robinson Award, which is voted on by the more than 1,200 members of the FWAA, is named after the late coaching legend who led Grambling for 55 years. Past winners of the FWAA’s Coach of the Year award include Woody Hayes, Lou Holtz, Urban Meyer, Joe Paterno, Nick Saban, Bo Schembechler and Bob Stoops.