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Deion Sanders, Trei Oliver Compete for 2022 FCS Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award

HBCU head coaches are vying for the 2022 FCS Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award.

HOUSTON, TX – HBCU head coaches Deion Sanders (Jackson State) and Trei Oliver (North Carolina Central) will compete for the 2022 FCS Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award. The two have guided their football teams to a potential clash in the Celebration Bowl on Dec. 17. 

The Tigers have a penultimate match before making plans for Atlanta and must first defeat either Southern or Prairie View in the 2022 SWAC Championship title game. However, we may see if Sanders or Oliver will notch the first significant honor of the FCS postseason.


The FCS announce the field of 16 finalists, and the 2021 FCS Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year recipient Deion Sanders is a favorite to repeat after leading the No. 5 Jackson State Tigers (11-0, 8-0 SWAC) to its first undefeated regular-season record in the school's history. Sanders is 16-0 in the SWAC for two-consecutive seasons in his quest for dominance in the league and HBCU football.

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Head coach Trei Oliver of the No. 21 North Carolina Central Eagles (9-2, 4-1 MEAC) is a first-time candidate for the honor. His leadership was responsible for the Eagles' surprising season and their return to the Celebration Bowl since 2016. Oliver is a humble yet sarcastically funny coach in his press conferences.

The FCS Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalists include:

  1. Glenn Caruso – St. Thomas (Minn.)
  2. Bob Chesney – Holy Cross
  3. Chris Hatcher – Samford
  4. G.J. Kinne – Incarnate Word
  5. Tre Lamb – Gardner-Webb
  6. Mike London – William & Mary
  7. Tom Matukewicz – Southeast Missouri
  8. Trei Oliver – North Carolina Central
  9. Keith Patterson – Abilene Christian
  10. Ray Priore – Penn
  11. Rich Rodriguez – Jacksonville State
  12. Deion Sanders – Jackson State
  13. John Stiegelmeier – South Dakota State
  14. Troy Taylor – Sacramento State
  15. Brent Vigen – Montana State
  16. Chris Villarrial – Saint Francis (Pa.)

The recipient of the 2022 FCS Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award will be announced on Dec. 8, and the FCS National Award ceremony banquet will be held in Frisco, TX, on Jan. 7.