Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has been recognized as a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. Here's the full release from the University of Michigan:
The Football Writers Association of American, in conjunction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced that University of Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh is a finalist for the 2021 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. Harbaugh is one of 13 finalists for the annual coach of the year award presented by the FWAA.
The other finalists for this year’s award are: Blake Anderson (Utah State), Dave Aranda (Baylor), Luke Fickell (Cincinnati), Thomas Hammock (Northern Illinois), Billy Napier (Louisiana), Pat Narduzzi (Pitt), Nick Saban (Alabama), Kalani Sitake (BYU), Kirby Smart (Georgia), Jeff Traylor (UTSA), Mel Tucker (Michigan State) and Kyle Whittingham (Utah).
Harbaugh led the Wolverines to the 2021 Big Ten Championship, the program’s first conference crown since 2004, and their first berth in the College Football Playoff. U-M has won 12 games for just the third time in school history, equaling the victory totals of the 1905 and 1997 teams.
The Wolverines enter the playoff as the second-ranked team in the final CFP rankings as well as the Associated Press and AFCA Coaches polls. Michigan will face No. 3 Georgia in the national semifinal held at the Orange Bowl (Friday, Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. on ESPN).
Michigan defeated No. 15 Iowa by a 42-3 score to win the program’s 43rd conference title. The Wolverines won the Big Ten East Division title with a 42-27 victory over No. 2 Ohio State to finish the regular season with an 8-1 conference mark. U-M had 22 players (10 offense, 9 defense, 3 special teams) recognized with all-conference accolades, led by six first-team All-Big Ten performers.
The team ranks in the top 15 in scoring defense (4th) and scoring offense (13th) and in the top 20 in total defense (13th) and total offense (18th). The Wolverines list in the top 25 of 27 NCAA statistical categories, including top 10 rankings in 12 areas, and leads the nation in tackles for loss allowed and kick return defense.
This year’s list of Robinson Award finalists includes a former winner and three finalists from 2020, as well as all four coaches competing in this year’s College Football Playoff. Ten of the finalists led their teams to conference championships this season.
The 2021 winner will be announced on Monday, Dec. 20. The official presentation will be at a reception on Saturday, Jan. 8, prior to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Indianapolis. The FWAA has presented a coaching award since the 1957, and named the award after the late Robinson in 1997.