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New Hampshire Athletics | December 16, 2014

UNH's Sam McDonnell named FCS coah of the year


PHILADELPHIA -- New Hampshire football head coach Sean McDonnell was named recipient of the 2014 Eddie Robinson Award on Monday afternoon as the Football Championship Subdivision national coach of the year.

McDonnell, who was also feted in 2005, is just the third two-time recipient of the Eddie Robinson Award since its inception in 1987. Craig Bohl (North Dakota State) was selected in 2012 and 2013, and Mickey Matthews (James Madison ) was tabbed in '99 and '08.

The 2014 Eddie Robinson Award was presented to McDonnell by Doug Williams, a pupil of the namesake who went on to win a Super Bowl MVP with the NFL's Washington Redskins and become a Grambling State head coach. Robinson retired in 1997 as college football's winningest coach with a record of 408-164-15 in 57 years at Grambling. He passed away in 2007.

It is the fourth coach of the year accolade bestowed McDonnell this season. He was previously honored as Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year, Jack Grinold Division I New England Coach of the Year (by the New England Football Writers Association) and American Football Coaches Association Region 1 Coach of the Year.

McDonnell guided UNH to a No. 1 national ranking and top seed of the FCS tournament with a 10-1 regular-season record that included 8-0 as CAA conference champions.

The Wildcats extended their school-record win streak to 12 and broke the program record for wins in a single season (12) with postseason victories against No. 9 Fordham 44-19 in the second round and a 35-30 quarterfinal win vs. No. 8 Chattanooga.

UNH has also set the benchmark for consecutive home wins (14) and is 5-0 against nationally-ranked teams, including three victories against teams in the top 10. 

Including this year's four accolades, coach McDonnell has received a total of 16 coach of the year awards and that includes both the 2005 and 2014 Eddie Robinson Award.

New Hampshire will play host to No. 5 Illinois State University on Saturday, Dec. 20 in an NCAA FCS semifinal game.

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