CONWAY — At this point, it would probably be easier to count all the awards Jamey Chadwell hasn’t won.
The Coastal Carolina University head football coach was named the 2020 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Wednesday.
“This is a tremendous honor,” Chadwell said. “This award means a lot to me personally. Obviously, this is an award that (I won) because of our players and a staff and the commitment and sacrifice they had to make in an unparalleled year that we’ve all had to go through. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to be the recipient of this. But this is one that I’m humbled by, I’m very thankful for and I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart.”
This is the first time Chadwell or a Sun Belt coach has won the award.
“Jamey Chadwell had an outstanding season that would have impressed even Coach Robinson," Sugar Bowl president Ralph Capitelli said. “While going from being picked last in the conference in the preseason to winning its first Sun Belt Championship and reaching the national top-10, Coastal Carolina became one of the feel-good stories of the season during a very tough year. Congratulations to Coach Chadwell and his Chanticleers.”
According to Coastal Carolina Athletics, Chadwell was selected from voting by the entire FWAA membership from a field of eight other finalists from seven FBS conferences and the nation's top independent program.
“Coach Eddie Robinson's family sends congratulations and well-wishes to coach Jamey Chadwell on his becoming the 2020 FWAA Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year,” said Eddie Robinson III, the grandson of the legendary coach. “His 2020 season at Coastal Carolina has been a phenomenal one not only for the school and for the Sun Belt Conference but for all of college football and its rich history.”
The other eight finalists for the award were Tom Allen of Indiana, Brent Brennan of San Jose State, Matt Campbell of Iowa State, Karl Dorrell of Colorado, Luke Fickell of Cincinnati, Nick Saban of Alabama, Kalani Sitake of BYU and Dabo Swinney of Clemson.
The FWAA has presented a coaching award since the 1957 season when Ohio State's Woody Hayes was named the first recipient. Beginning in 1997, the FWAA Coach of the Year Award has been named in honor of the late Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University for 55 seasons.
Robinson, who passed away in 2007, won 70.7 percent of his games during his career. Robinson's teams won or tied for 17 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships after joining the league in 1959. Grambling State won nine Black College Football Championships during his career, all of which he spent with the Tigers.
Chadwell has already been named the 2020 Walter Camp Coach of the Year, the Associated Press Coach of the Year, The Home Depot College Football Coach of the Year, the Sporting News' 2020 Coach of the Year, the 2020 CBS Sports/247Sports Coach of the Year, the Paul “Bear” Bryant Group of 5 2020 Conference Coach of the Year, and was chosen by fans as The Premier Coach of College Football by Premier Players, Inc.
Chadwell was also named the 2020 Sun Belt Coach of the Year and the 2020 Werner Ladder AFCA FBS Region 2 Coach of the Year, and is a finalist for both the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award and the George Munger College Coach of the Year Award, which is presented by the Maxwell Football Club.
Chadwell led the Chanticleers to their first-ever Sun Belt Conference co-championship and bowl appearance this season. Coastal Carolina’s 11-0 regular-season finish was the best in Sun Belt history and the most wins the Chants have amassed since joining the FBS in 2017. Two of those victories were against top 20 opponents (BYU and Louisiana-Lafayette).
Coastal Carolina’s lone loss came against former Big South rival Liberty in the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl in Orlando, 37-34, in overtime.
Chadwell had the Chants climb as high as No. 9 in the AP rankings, a Sun Belt record for any FBS poll, No. 12 in the College Football Playoff Poll and No. 11 in the Amway Coaches Poll powered by USA Today Sports, both Sun Belt records, respectively.