Fordham's Tom Masella Named Eddie Robinson Award Finalist
Nov. 16, 2007
Philadelphia, Pa. - Fordham University head football coach Tom Masella is among the 16 coaches announced Wednesday by The Sports Network as finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award.
The Robinson Award, named for the legendary former Grambling coach, has been given annually by The Sports Network to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) national coach of the year since 1987.
Masella has led the Rams to a tremendous turnaround in 2007, guiding Fordham to the Patriot League title and earning the league's automatic berth in the NCAA FSC championship.
Fordham enters it final regular season game with Bucknell on Jack Coffey Field on Saturday with an 8-2 overall record, a perfect 5-0 in the Patriot League. With a win, the Rams would win the league title outright and become the first Patriot League team to go undefeated in conference play since the 2003 Colgate squad.
Masella arrived at Rose Hill in 2006 after serving as head coach at Central Connecticut State University for two years, leading the Blue Devils to back-to-back Northeast Conference (NEC) titles, the school's first ever football championships in 2004 and 2005. He led the squad to 15 wins over the two seasons, the most victories recorded over a two-year period by a Central Connecticut State football team in school history.
In 2005, the Blue Devils finished with a 7-4 record, tying for the NEC crown with a 5-2 conference record. Eleven of Masella's student-athletes received All-Northeast Conference accolades in 2005, including one who was named Offensive Rookie of the Year and another who received Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
In his first year in New Britain, Masella and the Blue Devils put together one of the most successful campaigns in program history, posting an 8-2 overall record and a 6-1 mark in Northeast Conference play. The conference record was good for a share of the NEC Championship, the first conference title in football in school history. For his efforts, Masella was named NEC Coach of the Year, becoming the first Blue Devil head football coach to garner Coach of the Year honors, while the Blue Devils also sported the Offensive Player and Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Masella is 28-36 overall as a head coach, 11-10 at Fordham.
Among the other Robinson Award candidates are Pete Adrian of Norfolk State, Craig Bohl of North Dakota State, Rod Broadway of Grambling, Dave Clawson of Richmond, Dave Cohen of Hofstra, Mark Farley of Northern Iowa, Henry Frazier of Prairie View, Chris Hatcher of Georgia Southern, Danny Hope of Eastern Kentucky, Al Lavan of Delaware State, Pete Lembo of Elon, Jerry Moore of Appalachian State, Jack Siedlecki of Yale, Matt Viator of McNeese State, and Paul Wulff of Eastern Washington.
This year's winner will be announced on Thursday night, December 13 at the Sports Network's annual awards banquet to be held at the Marriott Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The winners of the Walter Payton Award and the Buck Buchanan Award, along with the Sports Network Cup, will also be announced. The Payton and Buchanan awards go to the top players in FCS and the Sports Network Cup is handed out to the top Mid-Major team.
The Rams close out their 2007 regular season on Saturday, November 17th, as they host the Bucknell Bison in a Patriot League game on Jack Coffey Field at 1:00 PM.