PHILADELPHIA -- North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl knows plenty about back-to-back wins on a national scale.
Bohl has led his powerful Bison program to the FCS national championship in each of the past two seasons.On Monday, Bohl captured his second consecutive Eddie Robinson Award, which honors the FCS coach of the year. That feat had never been accomplished before in the 27-year history of the award, presented by The Sports Network.
Former James Madison coach Mickey Matthews is the only other two-time recipient (1999 and 2008) of the Robinson Award. Previous winner Jim Tressel (Youngstown State, 1994) presented the 2013 award at Monday's FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation.
Bohl collected 42 first-place votes and 418 points from a national panel of 147 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries. Eastern Illinois' Dino Babers, whose team was ranked second to North Dakota State at the end of the regular season, finished second in the voting with 370 points, while Maine's Jack Cosgrove was third with 260 points. All 13 FCS conferences had at least one coach nominated for the award.
Under Bohl, North Dakota State never gave up its No. 1 ranking during the regular season. The Bison opened the season by defeating Big 12 champion Kansas State on the road and went on to post an 11-0 mark to enjoy their first unbeaten regular season since 1990. Behind a dominant defense, an efficient, ball-control offense and strong special teams, the Bison won their third consecutive Missouri Valley Football Conference title.
NDSU's win against South Dakota in the regular-season finale was Bohl's 100th at the Fargo, N.D., university. In his 11 seasons, the Bison have had 10 winning seasons and won at least 10 games five times.
"Typically, the part of the country we're from, we're going to have to leverage the fact that we've got a lot of big, strong kids," said Bohl, the Missouri Valley coach of the year for three consecutive seasons.
"We don't have an abundant amount of speed in our geographical area; it doesn't mean we don't have some speed on our football team. But we looked at that and said for us to be successful, we're going to have to be a hard-nosed, physical, disciplined team. We're not a lot of bells and whistles, we're not a spread offense, we're not a real flashy defense. We just play physical, disciplined football. So far, it's worked well for us."
Bohl's 13-0 Bison stand two victories shy of capturing a third consecutive FCS national championship. Only the 2005-07 teams at Appalachian State have accomplished a three-peat previously.
|1.||Craig Bohl||North Dakota State||42||24||26||11||12||418|
|2.||Dino Babers||Eastern Illinois||34||32||12||16||4||370|
|4.||Ron Roberts||SE Louisiana||16||9||15||9||12||191|
|6.||Beau Baldwin||Eastern Washington||7||8||11||17||12||146|
|7.||Mark Nofri||Sacred Heart||5||13||8||8||16||133|
|8.||Jamey Chadwell||Charleston So.||7||4||13||7||14||118|
|9.||Joe Moglia||Coastal Carolina||2||6||8||12||9||91|
|10.||Ed Lamb||Southern Utah||1||4||5||7||17||67|
|12.||Jay Hopson||Alcorn State||4||0||1||6||2||37|
|15.||Matt Viator||McNeese State||0||2||4||1||4||26|
|16.||Buddy Pough||South Carolina State||0||2||3||2||2||23|
|18.||Rod Reed||Tennessee State||0||3||0||1||3||17|
|20.||Jimmye Laycock||William & Mary||0||0||0||0||2||2|
|21.||Eric Wolford||Youngstown State||0||0||0||0||1||1|