FARGO, N.D. (NDSU ATHLETICS) - Fourth-year North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman is among the 18 finalists announced Monday, Nov. 20, for the STATS FCS Eddie Robinson Award, presented annually to the FCS Coach of the Year.
Klieman, who won his 50th game as NDSU head coach last week at Illinois State, is just the fifth Bison coach to reach that mark and the second fastest to 50 wins behind Ron Erhardt. He has a 50-6 record at NDSU and has guided the Bison to their seventh straight Missouri Valley Football Conference championship.
Klieman was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award in 2014 and 2016. The Bison are 28-4 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference the past four seasons, have gone 30-5 against FCS Top 25 teams, and have an FBS Top 25 win over No. 11 Iowa.
North Dakota State is 10-1 this season and has an FCS-best six Top 25 victories. The Bison earned the No. 2 overall seed for the FCS playoffs and will host a second round game Saturday, Dec. 2, against the winner of this week's first round game between Northern Arizona and San Diego.
Named for the legendary coach of Grambling State, past winners of the Eddie Robinson Award include Mark Duffner, Erk Russell, Chris Ault, Jim Tressel, Houston Nutt, Andy Talley, Paul Johnson, Joe Glenn, Jerry Kill, Jerry Moore and two-time winners Mickey Matthews, Sean McDonnell and Craig Bohl.
This year's list includes at least one coach from all 13 FCS conferences. A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will select the recipient.
2017 STATS FCS Eddie Robinson Award Finalists
Mike Ayers, Wofford
Al Bagnoli, Columbia
Brian Bohannon, Kennesaw State
Rod Broadway, North Carolina A&T
Kevin Callahan, Monmouth
Dave Cecchini, Valparaiso
Curt Cignetti, Elon
Charlie Fisher, Western Illinois
John Grass, Jacksonville State
Will Healy, Austin Peay
Mike Houston, James Madison
Dan Hunt, Colgate
Chris Klieman, North Dakota State
Mike London, Howard
Fred McNair, Alcorn State
Tim Rebowe, Nicholls State
Pete Rossomando, Central Connecticut State
Demario Warren, Southern Utah